05/30/2001 11:00PM

'Sandy' ships in; dangerous in Moseley


EAST BOSTON, Mass. - As is the case in the Massachusetts Handicap, out-of-town horses appear to hold an upper hand in the $150,000 James B. Moseley Breeders' Cup Handicap, the supporting feature on Saturday's 14-race card.

The six-furlong Moseley, the 11th race on the card, drew a field of eight. The 118-pound topweight and probable favorite is Say Florida Sandy, a three-time winner this year who enters the Moseley off a troubled second to Peeping Tom in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct. Say Florida Sandy will be ridden by Joe Bravo.

In the seven-furlong Carter, Bravo had to alter course on the New York-bred Say Florida Sandy, who fell 1 1/2 lengths short of Peeping Tom at the wire.

Say Florida Sandy is an 8-year-old Personal Flag horse, trained by Juan Serey. He's won 25 of 71 starts and has earned more than $1.4 million in his career. His latest win came two starts back, when he rallied for a 1 1/2-length score in the Grade 3 Bolder Ruler at the Moseley distance. His off-the-pace running style was aided by a very fast pace, which helped produce a quick final time of 1:08.67.

John Rotella, who owns Say Florida Sandy, says the horse is in the best form of his career.

"He's doing unbelievable right now, better than he's ever been," said Rotella. "We've been waiting for this race for a while. You have to run him every 15 days. He just gets better with age."

Two of the horses Say Florida Sandy defeated in the Bold Ruler, third-place finisher Lake Pontchartrain and fourth-place Max's Pal, will face him again in the Moseley. Lake Pontchartrain will carry 113 pounds and be ridden by Edgar Prado. Max's Pal will have Jerry Bailey up at 115.

Lake Pontchartrain enters off an allowance win at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, May 5 - but he hasn't been able to beat Say Florida Sandy this year. Last November, he beat Say Florida Sandy in an allowance at Aqueduct. A late runner, the 6-year-old Lake Pontchartrain is trained by Richard Dutrow Jr.

The Mike Aro-trained Markus makes his first start since having won the Almy Stakes here in April. A 5-year-old Miner's Mark horse, Markus carries 111 pounds.

"I can't ask him to do any better than he's doing now," Aro said. "I'm hoping for a little wet weather and then I'll be a giant killer."

The Mass Cap card, which begins at 11:45 a.m., includes a pair of $25,000 turf stakes, the Old Ironsides at a mile and 70 yards and the Keith Brodkin Memorial at five furlongs.