05/23/2004 12:00AM

Lord Nelson an easy winner


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Lord Nelson, trained by Dino Condilenios, was an easy 2 3/4 length winner over Commodore Craig in the 6 1/2 furlongs Hong Kong Jockey Club Handicap at Hastings Sunday. The homebred son of Maudlin carried highweight of 123 pounds and left little doubt that at seven-years-old, he's still the best older horse in British Columbia.

Ridden by Frank Fuentes, Lord Nelson was hustled along early to gain a perfect position just behind his stablemate and pacesetter Celt, who reeled off very fast fractions of 21:52, 44:52 while drifting out on both turns. Lord Nelson, hugging the rail, took command of the race just past the quarter-pole and he was never threatened as he widened his margin through the stretch. He paid $4.40. Final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:16.14 seconds over a track rated fast that clearly favored front runners.

"With the track playing the way it was I felt pretty confident going into the first turn," said Condilenios. "He's a pretty special horse and you can place him just about anywhere you want."

"Everything worked out great," said Fuentes. "I knew I had to send him from his outside post to try and get position going into the first turn. Once he was there, I knew Celt drifts out so I just kept him on the rail. He's a pretty special horse."

Commodore Craig followed Lord Nelson around the track and finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Dancewithavixen. Considering the speed-favoring surface, Danceiwithavixen, who is a four-year-old filly, ran an exceptional race to make up a considerable amount of ground while going very wide around the stretch turn.