06/18/2003 12:00AM

True Direction favored in Moseley

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EAST BOSTON, Mass. - Twelve horses were entered in Saturday's $200,000 James B. Moseley Breeders' Cup Handicap at Suffolk Downs, making it one of the most competitive stakes races in New England in years.

With the Massachusetts Handicap canceled this year, the Moseley is by far the year's richest Thoroughbred race in New England.

Top-weighted True Direction drew post 10 and was made the 8-5 morning line favorite. Trained by Carlos Morales, True Direction is in search of his third straight win and fourth victory from his last five starts. Among his wins was the Fall Highweight Handicap last November at Aqueduct. Jockey Javier Castellano will travel from New York to ride.

"It's a good spot to be in," said Morales. "We can show speed or we can let someone go in front of us."

Second-choice My Cousin Matt drew post 3 and is trained by Scott Lake. The Moseley will be My Cousin Matt's his first race since finishing fifth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March.

Michael Gill, the leading owner in the country in races won and money earned, entered three horses but didn't draw as favorably as he had hoped. Highway Prospector, who won the Artax Handicap at Gulfstream this winter and was a close runner-up in the True North Handicap last time out at Belmont, drew post 12. Pioneer Boy, who won the Maryland Breeders' Cup drew the rail, and Tasty Caberneigh drew post 5.

"The horse I wanted to be inside drew the outside and the one I wanted to see off the rail gets the fence," said Gill, who will send out 14 horses in Suffolk Downs's 12 races Saturday.

The Moseley field with jockeys from the rail out: Pioneer Boy, Joe Hampshire; Dhaffir, Tammi Piermarini; My Cousin Matt, Ramon Dominguez; Captain Red, Victor Carrero; Tasty Caberneigh, Hamphire; Peeping Tom, Shaun Bridgmohan; Wild Maple, Raul Rojas; Goodbar, Vernon Bush; Here's Zealous, no rider; True Direction, Javier Castellano; First Blush, Ray Ganpath; and Highway Prospector, Rick Wilson.