05/07/2003 11:00PM

Condilenios alters his strategy with Lord Nelson this season


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - In 2002, trainer Dino Condilenios mapped out a racing season for Lord Nelson that was supposed to have him peaking on the day of the Longacres Mile. Although Lord Nelson had a good year, things didn't work out according to plan.

This year, Condilenios is going to try a different approach, which begins with Saturday's George Royal Stakes. "We're just going to take it one race at a time," he said.

Lord Nelson, a son of Maudlin, raced only five times in 2002, winning three races and finishing second to Vernon Invader in the British Columbia Cup Classic. His only poor race was a seventh-place finish in the Longacres Mile.

"In order to have him at his best for the Mile, we skipped races we could have been running in," said Condilenios. "But he developed a quarter crack about a week before the Mile. So we're going to approach it differently this year."

While Lord Nelson's season won't be built around the Longacres Mile, Condilenios still considers the race a possibility. But if Lord Nelson is doing well and there is a stakes race for older horses at Hastings, it is very likely he will be running. With only 19 starts in his career, Lord Nelson is a relatively fresh 6-year-old. He's also a very good one, having won nine times.

"You just never know when his quarter cracks are going to show up," said Condilenios. "So if he's doing well, it doesn't make a lot of sense to keep him in the barn."

According to Condilenios, Lord Nelson is doing extremely well right now, and the trainer is hoping the George Royal will be a repeat of last year, when the classy gelding scored an impressive win over Danzilation, who is also in this year's field.

"It's a lot tougher race than last year," Condilenios said. "But he's a pretty nice horse and his feet are perfect right now, so I expect that he'll run his usual good race."

Danzilation might have gone favored in the George Royal, but after drawing post 10, he will likely be second or third choice. His trainer, Terry Jordan, didn't seem that concerned with the draw.

"They still have to outrun him," he said. "I don't care if he starts from up in the grandstand, they still have to beat him."

Jordan also likes his chances with Gamblin Caper in the $40,000 Presidents Handicap at Stampede Park this Saturday.

"He did a little better in the draw and got the 1-hole," said Jordan. "He's got a lot of speed, and I think he'll be tough to beat going six furlongs."

Dancewithavixen to Supernaturel

Trainer Tom Longstaff was pleased with the way that Dancewithavixen came out of her victory in the Fair Lady Stakes last weekend and said that the 3-year-old filly will make her next start in the 6 1/2-furlong Supernaturel on May 19.

Longstaff, who is also the owner and breeder of Dancewithavixen, thinks she will be a better horse when she stretches out, but he won't know for sure until June 28, when the local fillies get their first crack at a middle distance in the Liberation.

"I was thinking of taking her to Emerald," he said, "but with all of the breeder and owner awards she receives, she earns more money running at Hastings. I'll just keep her here for now."

Longstaff also reported that Don't Pali Me, who won the Nursery and Ladnesian last year, will likely be back to the races in July or early August. Don't Pali Me was injured in his stall in midsummer, and Longstaff is not in any hurry to bring him back to the races.

"He's doing fine, but the weather's been so bad and I didn't want to work him on an off track," he said. "He's been galloping on the farm, and I'll bring him to the track now that the weather has broken."