09/04/2004 12:00AM

Lord Nelson may be set for a fall

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VANCOUVER, British Colu-mbia - If Lord Nelson runs his usual race in the $40,000 Randall Plate Monday, he's the winner. The 7-year-old Lord Nelson would be favored at any distance over the six other horses in the field, but at 1 1/8 miles he's a standout, having won six times and finished second five times from 12 starts at the distance.

The reigning local older champion, Lord Nelson might be vulnerable, though. He's coming off of two very hard races where he just got nipped at the wire. His latest, the British Columbia Cup Classic Aug. 2, was particularly tough on him.

Lord Nelson went head-and-head with Roscoe Pito through very fast fractions and the early duel took its toll in the stretch as he tired and was nosed out by a fast-closing Illusive Force. According to Lord Nelson's trainer, Dino Condilenios, it has taken the gelding a while to recover.

"He's just getting back to himself now," said Condilenios. "But he's not doing as well as he was earlier in the year. I'm pretty sure this will be his last race for the year."

Lord Nelson will be ridden by Frank Fuentes.

Metatron would appear to have the best chance of upsetting Lord Nelson. He came within .20 of the track record when he led from start to finish in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race Aug. 2 and he held on relatively well to finish fifth in the Longacres Mile after going extremely fast early.