06/07/2007 11:00PM

Stern test for Disco Fox in Rise Jim


The top three finishers from last November's Norman Hall Stakes are entered in the $45,000 Rise Jim Stakes for 3-year-olds at Suffolk Downs.

Disco Fox outkicked Fifty Seven G and Senor St. Pat last fall in the Norman Hall to take top 2-year-old honors in the region. On Sunday, Senor St. Pat - and perhaps Fifty Seven G - appears ready to get a measure of revenge in the Rise Jim, a six-furlong statebred contest.

Disco Fox and Fifty Seven G are trained by Karl Grusmark, and he said Fifty Seven G will likely be scratched unless an off track culls the field.

Disco Fox made one start in January in a stakes at Laurel before getting a winter vacation. He finished third, beaten just over 10 lengths, in an allowance race here May 26.

"Disco Fox got a little tired and looked like he needed the race," said Grusmark. "I think he should show some improvement."

Senor St. Pat slugged it out for four months in Maryland for trainer John Rigattieri, including two wins in January and February at Laurel.

"That horse is the one to beat," said Grusmark. "[Disco Fox] got to spend the winter where I wish I could have spent the winter - in Florida. He really appreciated it. He had a useful 2-year-old campaign and the time off did him a lot of good. He matured and filled out."

The 3-year-olds will be taking on older horses, but at this time of year that shouldn't be too difficult, especially in the Massachusetts-bred division, which was dominated last year by females.

Two of those female stars, Ask Queenie and Flirt for Fame, were scheduled to have met Saturday in the Isadorable, the first stakes of the meet.

After this weekend, the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association will bankroll 11 more $45,000 races. The stakes will come roughly every two weeks through the rest of season with the highlights being the African Prince Stakes on July 4 and the Sunset Gun on Labor Day, Sept. 3.

The MTBA provisionally slated the Massachusetts Stallion Stakes for Nov. 10 - the same day as the Norman Hall Stakes. The Massachusetts Stallion Stakes is for older horses by registered state stallions, but the state-funded breeding organization often can't project the budget for the entire year and could need to make adjustments.

Daily double pays $3.40

The lowest daily double payout in Suffolk history came in Wednesday when Blind River Fox won at 1-9 and was followed by Williwagcanfly in the second at 1-2. The overwhelming favorites combined for a $3.40 daily double, 20 cents lower than the Skip Away-Tresoriere double on Massachusetts Handicap Day in 1998.