06/12/2003 12:00AM

My Cousin Matt among Moseley talents


EAST BOSTON, Mass. - When the year started, this was supposed to be the week of the Massachusetts Handicap - a time when Suffolk Downs goes full bore after national attention. With the Mass 'Cap on hiatus for this year, next Saturday's $200,000 James B. Moseley Breeders' Cup Handicap is the big race of the meet.

Even without the Mass 'Cap, next Saturday still will be the richest single day in New England racing this year, and a strong group of sprints is pointing to the six-furlong Moseley.

My Cousin Matt, owned by Richard Englander and trained by Scott Lake, is scheduled to make his return in the Moseley. The winner of the Grade 2 General George Handicap at Laurel this winter, My Cousin Matt has been off since finishing fifth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen March 29. He will look to follow in the path of the great Cigar, racing in Dubai then returning to America with a win at Suffolk Downs. Cigar won the inaugural Dubai World Cup in 1996 then took the Mass 'Cap in his subsequent race.

"The trip to Dubai is a little hard on the horses, but this is a tremendous animal," said Lake of My Cousin Matt. "He was unlucky in Dubai. He acted up in the gate and it cost him five or six lengths. This horse is still improving. I think he is right there with the top sprinters in the country at his best."

My Cousin Matt also won the Great State Challenge Sprint at Sam Houston last year. He will have Ramon Dominguez aboard in the Moseley.

Grade 1 winner Peeping Tom also is scheduled to run in the Moseley. Trained by Pat Reynolds and owned by Flatbird Stable, Peeping Tom was most recently third in the Met Mile. In 2001 he won the Carter Handicap.

Aqueduct inner track record holder Captain Red, like Peeping Tom and several others in the race based in New York, will try to improve on his fifth-place finish in the Moseley last year. He is trained by James Bond.

Run Kush Run, who is now based in New England with leading trainer Ron Dandy, has battled with the likes of Peeping Tom, Captain Red, and My Cousin Matt before. The same goes for Say Florida Sandy, who was entered and scratched out of the 2001 Moseley when the track came up sloppy.

Defending champion Stormin Oedy will run in the Moseley. Trained by Mike Petro, a former leading trainer at Suffolk, and ridden by Petro's brother Nick, the 5-year-old Stormin Oedy has gone winless in nine starts since last year's upset, while racing in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Also Saturday, Massachusetts-breds will compete in the richest statebred race of the year in the $75,000 Massachusetts. Thoroughbred Breeders' Championship. The $35,000 Old Ironsides and the Keith Brodkin Memorial will also be on the undercard.

* Suffolk next Saturday will hop aboard the racing industry bandwagon behind the motion picture "Seabiscuit," set to be released later this summer. The track will give away posters commemorating Seabiscuit, who won the 1937 Mass 'Cap.

* Racing on Mondays and Tuesdays moves to a 3 p.m. first post starting next week. The twilight racing cards fit a simulcasting schedule niche and are intended to generate more simulcast wagering.

* With more rain in the forecast for this weekend, Suffolk officials remain doubtful the long-delayed turf season will be able to get under way Saturday. With a fixed inner rail, the course was not designed to handle an extended season of turf racing that this summer's meet will bring. Officials hope that dry weather arrives so the course can be used by next week.