Robert E. Meyerhoff's Include, winner of the May 12 Pimlico Special (gr. I), has been installed the 7-5 morning-line favorite after drawing post two for 62nd running of the Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Suffolk Downs.
He'll face six rivals for the 1 1/8-mile contest. Joining Include are Pin Oak Stable's Broken Vow and Barbara Smollin's 8-year-old gelding, Sir Bear. Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey will pilot Include at 118 pounds. Jorge Chavez, who won this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on Monarchos, is named to ride Sir Bear. Edgar Prado has the mount on Broken Vow.
Unbeaten in four starts this year, Include, a 4-year-old son of Broad Brush, is trained by Grover G. (Bud) Delp, who conditioned racing legend Spectacular Bid to Horse of the Year honors in 1979. Delp won the MassCap in 1976 with Dancing Champ. Broad Brush finished second to Waquoit in the '87 MassCap.
"This horse (Include) is the second-best horse I have ever trained beside Spectacular Bid, and I've had some pretty nice horses," said Delp. "He's got a lot of class. The way he ran down Albert the Great from the three-sixteenths pole in the Pimlico Special proved to me he was more than just a good horse."
Broken Vow, trained by H. Graham Motion, will break from post four as the 8-5 second choice. Six-for-eight lifetime, Broken Vow was a wire-to-wire winner of the grade III Ben Ali at Keeneland in his last start.
With more than $2.2 million in career earnings, Sir Bear is the third choice at 2-1. He won the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. I) in March and ran fifth in the Oaklawn Park Handicap (gr. I) in his two starts this year.
New York-based Durmiente and three local hopefuls: Crown Noble, Personal Moon and Sky Approval complete the field.
Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II)
1 1/8 Miles
Post Time 5:34 p.m. EDT
Post Horse Jockey ML
1 Sir Bear Jorge Chavez 2-1
2 Include Jerry Bailey 7-5
3 Sky Approval Nathaniel Puello 20-1
4 Broken Vow Edgar Prado 8-5
5 Crown Noble Ryan Barber 20-1
6 Durmiente No Rider 15-1
7 Personal Moon Edwin Molinari 20-1