06/16/2004 11:00PM

Peeping Tom seeks repeat


EAST BOSTON, Mass. - On any other day the $200,000 James B. Moseley Handicap would be a worthy headliner at Suffolk Downs. But on Saturday, one year after holding the top spot, the Moseley is relegated back to the undercard of the , which has returned following a one-year hiatus.

Despite playing second fiddle, the Moseley still may turn out to be the best race of the year in Boston.

The defending champion, Peeping Tom, is back and has trainer Pat Reynolds confident. The horse he beat last year, My Cousin Matt, returns as well, and trainer Scott Lake says the gelding is better than he has ever been before. Throw in Grade 1 winner Valid Video and the ultra-consistent and ultra-fast Gators N Bears from Maryland, and the Moseley is just as strong as the big race that will follow it a half-hour later.

Peeping Tom reached the pinnacle of his 2003 campaign with his Moseley win last year and continues on pace for another big season, despite making his 49th career start Saturday and his 22nd of the last two years. He exits a win in the LeVine Memorial at Philadelphia Park, which took a lot out of him.

"He was hard-used there, but he managed to win it under adverse circumstances," said Reynolds. "Normally, he bounces back after two or three days, but this time he took about six. We've had to take it easy getting ready this time, but we know he likes the track and he is back to feeling good. When he's feeling good he gives you his best."

My Cousin Matt will be trying to prove he was best last year and belongs among the elite sprinters.

"We should have won the race last year," said Lake. "Ramon [Dominguez] moved a little soon, and then he didn't get off the deep rail and out to the crest in time to catch Peeping Tom. We were coming off a layoff. It was three strikes against him."

This year My Cousin Matt tuned up with an allowance victory at Belmont, and Dominguez returns to Boston after winning three races last year on the Moseley card.

"He's training tremendous. The best he's ever trained for me," said Lake.

Both Lake and Reynolds know Gators N Bears might be the horse to beat after his strong victory in the Maryland Breeders' Cup on Preakness Day. That Grade 3 victory was his second this year in four starts. He has finished in the money in all but one race over the last two years.

Valid Video should be ready to pounce on all of them if he's regained the form with which he won consecutive graded stakes last summer as a 3-year-old. Judging by his workouts at Monmouth, Valid Video is over his disappointments from the Breeders' Cup Sprint last year and two Gulfstream stakes this winter.

Also on the card, Pro'sprodigy brings a three-race win streak into the $40,000 Old Ironsides Stakes, against last year's winner Divine Wind in a field of 10, plus two also-eligibles.

Pro'sprodigy is undefeated in three starts at Suffolk this year, but has yet to win on the grass in two lifetime tries. Divine Wind hasn't started since finishing fifthin the Elkwood at Monmouth last July. Others in the mile and 70-yard turf race include Milky Way Guy, former statebred champion Jini's Jet, and Basil's Rhythm, who is also entered in the Mass Cap.