08/15/2007 11:00PM

Moseley joins in stakes revival


Not only is the Massachusetts Handicap coming back to the Suffolk Downs schedule on Sept. 22, so is its companion sprint race, the James B. Moseley Memorial Handicap, track management announced Thursday.

The six-furlong Moseley, which will carry a $100,000 purse, will join two $45,000 stakes on Massachusetts Handicap Day, as the track's new owner, Richard Fields, pushes to put Suffolk back on the national stage. Fields announced the return of the handicap in June.

Like the Massachusetts Handicap, the Moseley was last run in 2004, when it was won by Gators N Bears. It had been shelved the last two years because of slow business and to allow its purse money to be spread out over day-to-day races. The Moseley, named for the former chairman of Suffolk Downs who brought racing back to Boston in 1992, is a descendent of the old Suffolk Sprint, which used to stand on its own as a major race for older sprinters in the summer. The Moseley got top billing in 2003 when the track was forced to cancel the Massachusetts Handicap but ran the less expensive sprint.

The Moseley will be held five weeks before the Breeders' Cup. The hope at Suffolk is that horsemen will view the race as a path to the Breeders' Cup Sprint. New York stages the Vosburgh at six furlongs a week later on Sept. 30 at Belmont.

Suffolk will bring back two $45,000 races to make an all-stakes pick four. The Waquoit is for older horses at a mile and 70 yards and the Collegian is for 3-year-olds at six furlongs. Both were last run in 2003.

Ask Queenie has tough task

The $45,000 Thomas F. Moran Stakes Saturday at Suffolk offers something has not been seen a lot in the Massachusetts statebred stakes program: a race that offers a challenge to the super mare Ask Queenie.

The Moran, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that includes males, is probably the toughest fight the 6-year-old, 19-time winner and New England champion can get in a stakes race at Suffolk.

Ask Queenie easily beat Flirt for Fame in the First Episode Stakes for fillies and mares on Aug. 5. Both are back to take on the boys, and the lineup is deeper than the typical crew of males these two have topped in the past.

Heading that list is Disco Fox, who was a leading 2-year-old last year and who snapped a five-race losing streak with a nine-length romp in a muddy allowance race Aug. 8.

Spectacular Orage is a turf sprint specialist who will likely be challenged by this distance, but who should have no trouble pressuring Ask Queenie on the lead.

Petesamassbred has lost something off his fastball since his victories at Gulfstream Park in 2004, but he is coming off a strong runner-up effort in the Last Dance Stakes.

* Suffolk has put some recognizable local celebrities on the "Who Do You Like Today" television commercials produced by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The track launched an ad campaign last week using comedian Lenny Clark, celebrity chef Jasper White, former Red Sox manager Joe Morgan, and jockey Jerry Bailey, a five-time Massachusetts Handicap winner.