02/05/2005 12:00AM

Scratch puts Mr. Sulu in harder spot

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NEW ORLEANS - Weeks of parades through the streets of New Orleans climax on Fat Tuesday. Out at Fair Grounds, Mr. Sulu and Candid Glen, two of the turf stars of the Fair Grounds meet, will compete as part of a well-matched 11-horse field in the 62nd running of the Mardi Gras Handicap, a 7 1/2-furlong turf event for 4-year-olds and up.

Mr. Sulu was entered in last Thursday's feature, but he scratched when the race came off the turf and will now try a much tougher task. But off his third-place finish to subsequent Col. Bradley winner America Alive in his last out, Mr. Sulu certainly fits in here. A 7-year-old Rail gelding, Mr. Sulu dominated Louisiana-breds early in the meet when he won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf.

Candid Glen, trained by Andrew Leggio Jr., became one of the meet's early success stories when he returned from a 16-month layoff after a suspensory injury to win impressively in December. In his most recent race, a fifth-place finish in the Bradley, he did not appear his usual self, but should turn in a better effort in this spot. E.J. Perrodin rides.

Multiple stakes winner Warleigh is making his first start since November in the Mardi Gras Handicap and is the co-highweight with Mr. Sulu at 118 pounds. Warleigh, a speedy 7-year-old son of Lord at War who is trained by Steve Asmussen, finished second in last year's Col. Bradley and has been training sharply.

Justlikedawg, a 5-year-old son of Unaccounted For, made the lead in the Bradley before fading to fourth. Trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by Corey Lanerie, he will carry 117.

Sea Dub finished sixth and Social King seventh in the Bradley, but they were beaten less than four lengths in the blanket finish. The speedy Excessive Behavior will be a pace factor from the rail. Shiloh Bound won his only turf start at Fair Grounds, and Stone Cat finished third in both tries over the course.

Kodema has consistently raced against top-class horses but has never won on turf. Red Lightning has one win in five Fair Grounds grass races and is drawn badly in the outside post.