05/23/2008 11:00PM

Rudy Baez lures an even dozen


EAST BOSTON, Mass. – Phase one of the newly expanded stakes program at Suffolk Downs is a success if measured in field size, with 12 horses lined up for Monday’s six-furlong $50,000 Rudy Baez Stakes for 3-year-olds and up. It’s the biggest field in a stakes race at Suffolk since 2004.

All the prominent New England stables are involved, with some out-of-town interest thrown in thanks to Place Your Bet, a Scott Lake-trained gelding up from the Mid-Atlantic. Lake’s wife, Jennifer Stisted, is slated to ride Place Your Bet, a speedster who is two-time stakes placed.

Stisted, who returned to the saddle last month after six years away to start a family, must deal with as many as four others joining Place Your Bet up front. An Out of Place gelding, Place Your Bet has been off since fading to third in an allowance at Laurel in February. He started his year surviving a pace duel to win a six-furlong allowance in January there.

The quick-footed Fifty Seven G overpowered three rivals in a starter handicap at Finger Lakes April 19 and won the John Kirby Stakes at Suffolk last fall. He breaks from the rail under Winston Thompson.

Riversrunrylee has to prove he’s as speedy in sprints after setting the pace in his last five routes, all at Tampa Bay Downs.

Beijing House takes on older horses for the first time in his fifth race. He won his Suffolk debut by more than 10 lengths last September and was favored in Inaugural Stakes at Tampa last December but faded to 10th. Off since February, he’s drilled three straight bullets for trainer Tom McCooey.

Other notables include the coupled pair of Carl’s Smart and High Appeal, who are recent purchases by owner Michael Gill; Prince of Iron and My Buddy Richie, one-two in the mud in an optional claimer here May 17; and the venerable mare Ask Queenie, who takes on males for the seventh time in search of her first stakes win in open company to go with her 16 statebred wins.