01/13/2005 1:00AM

Mogador rarely runs a bad one


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - A strange thing happened to Mogador in Calder's Grade 3 Tropical Park Handicap. He did not hit the board.

had finished in the money in each of his first nine career starts, but he was a fast-closing fourth after encountering brief traffic problems in early stretch in the Grade 3 Tropical Turf. A son of Danzig, he will attempt to bounce back when he faces 11 rivals in Saturday's $60,000 Lure Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Despite having his in-the-money streak snapped at Calder, Mogador earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 99 for his performance. A model of consistency, Mogador has now posted Beyer Figures between 96 and 99 in each of his last six starts dating back to a second-level allowance win at Belmont Park on June 5. He also owns a victory over Mr. Light, who last week established the new one-mile world record at Gulfstream.

"He ran a good race at Calder, and with a cleaner trip he should have hit the board," said Clement, who trains Mogador for the Brushwood Stable. "He's a very consistent type and a nice horse, but I'm just not sure about the distance on Saturday. We never get to run 7 1/2 furlongs. On a normal turf course it should fit him, but at Gulfstream, which is amazingly fast, I don't know. We're all learning about the course a little bit right now."

Edgar Prado rides Mogador, who gets in with 118 pounds under the allowance conditions of the race.

Mogador should benefit from what figures to be an honest pace scenario in the 7 1/2-furlong Lure with speedsters Judiths Wild Rush, Gulch Approval, Gran Cesere, and Swift Replica in the lineup.

Of those, appears most capable of rating off the lead and winning from slightly off the pace. Like Mogador, he comes off his career best Beyer performance, earning a 105 with his third-place finish in Belmont's Grade 2 Kelso Breeders' Cup Handicap on Oct. 9.

is another consistent turf performer. He has been first or second in 10 of his 14 tries on grass. He, too, should relish an honest pace, having finished a fast-closing second in Monmouth's Grade 3 Red Bank Handicap last May. But he has not started since finishing an even fifth in Woodbine's Kings End Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 19.