09/22/2011 1:58PM

Suffolk adds new stakes, increases purses


Suffolk Downs has announced a new stakes race, a purse increase, and the continuation of four-day racing weeks for the final two months of the 2011 season with the inaugural $100,000 Robert O’Malley Sprint Stakes set to be held on Oct.  22.

As in years past, the track didn’t announce a stakes schedule at the start of the season, waiting instead to gauge business trends. The new race, named for the longtime track executive who died in 2007, will be six furlongs for fillies and mares with nominations closing Oct. 8.

Purses for allowance and maiden special weight races are getting a $2,000 boost while claiming races go up by $1,500. Two cards lost due to Hurricane Irene will be made up the next two Tuesdays.

Sociano’s Legacy faces males again

After beating males to win a regional championship last year, Sociano’s Legacy tries a similar plan Saturday in the $50,000 African Prince Stakes for Massachusetts-bred 3-year-olds.

Last year, Sociano’s Legacy blew away a maiden field and then won the Norman Hall Stakes, with those two victories earning her the New England Turf Writers’ award as Boston’s best juvenile filly. This time around, the filly exits a win in the Louise Kimball Stakes two weeks ago by a half-length despite getting hooked on the lead for most of the six-furlong race.

Jockey Jackie Davis hopes to flip the script on the old adage about “missing the wedding.” She reunites with Sociano’s Legacy after missing the Kimball to attend a wedding out of town.

Sociano’s Legacy will carry 121 pounds and spot at least three pounds to the field.

Despite failing to reel in Sociano’s Legacy in the Kimball, Ladder follows her into the African Prince hoping for a similar pace scenario. Rosemary’s Gael finished third behind those two last time at 78-1 and can continue her improvement here.

The males are led by Miscoe Gray, who can avenge his loss to Sociano’s Legacy in the Norman Hall last year. The gelded son of Cozzene also finished third in a restricted stakes last November at Parx Racing, but has struggled to find a groove in five starts this year while moving from dirt to turf and back and taking blinkers on and off. Tom McCooey saddles him Saturday for Nine Maple Farm. He is the fifth trainer the horse has had since his debut last fall.

Rounding out the field are geldings Deblue, Knute, Gold Star Dancer, Sociano’s Reward, the entry of Silk Spinner and Silk Solitude for trainer Adel Salim, and the filly Miss Tador.

◗ A memorial service for Tom Schwigen, the former Suffolk Downs starter who died unexpectedly Sept. 8, takes place in the six-furlong chute Saturday beginning at 11:15 a.m.