08/02/2002 11:00PM

Patrol, Mott's other Hall of Famer


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Hours after he watches former pupil Cigar get inducted into racing's Hall of Fame, trainer Bill Mott figures to be in the winner's circle with his latest star student.

Mott will send out Patrol in Monday's $150,000, Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap as Saratoga wraps up week two. A field of eight was entered for the nine-furlong turf race, but two were put in for main-track only and another, Chiselling, may not run.

Patrol should rule a short-priced favorite and not just because Mott has won this race four times or because jockey Jerry Bailey has won it six. Patrol will be favored on the strength of his three impressive front-running victories and the fact he's the lone speed in this compact field.

As a 2-year-old, Patrol finished third behind subsequent graded-stakes winner Repent in a five-furlong dirt race. The Claiborne Farm runner was turned over to Mott, who put the Lear Fan colt on turf and he hasn't lost since.

On May 11, Patrol won a 1 1/16-mile turf race by two lengths, covering the distance in 1:40. He came back on June 9 and smoked an allowance field by

3 1/4 lengths before taking the Nick Shuk Memorial at Delaware on July 7.

While he is a one-dimensional speedball, Patrol has yet to back up after setting hot early fractions.

"As fast as he is, he's always had something to finish up with up until this point," Mott said. "He seems to have improved, but he's still a fairly aggressive horse."

Patrol's front-running ways remind many of another Claiborne star from the early 1990's - two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner Lure. Mott hopes Patrol can lead him to the Breeders' Cup Mile at Arlington Park in November.

"That thought's crossed my mind, but he's got to earn it," Mott said. "We hope he can do half as well as Lure."

The major threats to Patrol on Monday are Chiselling and Finality, the one-two finishers in the Lexington Handicap at Belmont on July 14. Chiselling, a half-brother to stakes winners Chester House and Honest Lady, caught Finality in the final jumps of the Lexington. Trainer Bobby Frankel entered to take a look at the field, but is not certain to run.

Finality, a son of Dehere trained by Todd Pletcher, will run and try to stalk Patrol and run him down late under John Velazquez.

Union Place, Quest Star, and American Style complete the field on turf. Dubai Tiger and Smoked Em were entered for main-track only.