Updated on 09/15/2011 12:19PM

Sir Bear tries to stem tide of youth


It will be the old man against a couple of relative youngsters when the 8-year-old Sir Bear takes on up-and-coming 4-year-olds Include and Broken Vow in Saturday's $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs. The Grade 2, 1 1/8-mile race drew a field of seven older horses.

Sir Bear, a winner of three Grade 1 stakes, including the Gulfstream Park Handicap in his 2001 debut, drew post 1 and will have the services of Jorge Chavez for the first time on Saturday.

Include became a Grade 1 winner in May when he defeated Albert the Great in the Pimlico Special. Include will break next to Sir Bear from post 2 under Jerry Bailey, who is seeking his fourth Mass Cap victory.

Broken Vow, who bounced back from a third-place finish in the Gulfstream Park Handicap with a victory in Keeneland's Ben Ali Handicap, drew post 4 and will again have regular rider Edgar Prado aboard.

The remainder of the Mass Cap line-up consists of Sky Approval, Nathaniel Puello to ride; Crown Noble, Ryan Barber; Durmiente, no rider; and Personal Moon, Edwin Molinari.

Include will carry high weight of 118 pounds, conceding one pound to Sir Bear and two to Broken Vow. He earned the assignment off a his neck decision over the odds-on Albert the Great in the Pimlico Special. The victory was the fourth in as many starts this season for Include, a son of Broad Brush. His only defeat since June 2000 came last September in the Pennsylvania Derby, during which he suffered a pulled muscle in his left hind leg.

Sir Bear pushed his career earnings above the $2.2 million mark with his come-from-behind half-length triumph over Pleasant Breeze in the Gulfstream Park Handicap. His other Grade 1 wins came in the Metropolitan Handicap and Cigar Mile. A homebred son of Sir Leon, Sir Bear raced at seven different racetracks last season, posting Grade 3 wins in the Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows and the Texas Mile at Lone Star.

Broken Vow's third in the Gulfstream Park Handicap came in his first Grade 1 race and first start beyond 1 1/16 miles. He rebounded with a wire-to-wire victory in the Ben Ali for trainer Graham Motion, who has spaced out Broken Vow's races over the past two seasons.

Saturday's running will be the 62nd Massachusetts Handicap. Its roster of winners includes Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, Riva Ridge, and, more recently, Cigar and Skip Away, who each won the race twice in the 1990's.