08/20/2003 11:00PM

Shippers on the way for Mile


AUBURN, Wash. - With all 12 of the hopefuls for Sunday's Grade 3 Longacres Mile having completed their preparations by Thursday morning, it remained only for the three contestants not on the grounds to arrive for all the pieces to be in place.

Gondolieri and Nose the Trade left Ontario Airport near Los Angeles at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday morning and, following a layover in Oakland, were scheduled to arrive at Sea-Tac International Airport at 4:15 p.m.

Gondolieri, a Chilean-bred 4-year-old trained by Ron McAnally, will stay in the barn of local trainer Jessie Velasquez, who will saddle Gondolieri for the Mile. Gondolieri, who is coming off a troubled second to Taste of Paradise in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 3, will be the Mile's second-highweight at 121 pounds with regular rider Frank Alvarado up.

The English-bred Nose the Trade, who won his first start for trainer Bobby Frankel in a $125,000 optional claiming race at Del Mar on July 26, will be stabled with local trainer Richard Wright. Wright said a groom will accompany Nose the Trade, but he did not know whether one of Frankel's assistants would be on hand to saddle him. Nose the Trade, who races for Seattle native Gary Tanaka, will be ridden by Jose Valdivia at 118 pounds.

The arrival of Lord Nelson by van from Hastings Park on Thursday afternoon will complete the Mile field. Lord Nelson will be bedded down in the barn of local trainer Rick Terry, but will be saddled by his regular trainer, Dino Condilenios. Lord Nelson, who finished seventh behind Sabertooth in last year's Mile, is coming off back-to-back wins in the Lt. Governor's and B.C. Classic, both at 1 1/8 miles in Vancouver. He will be ridden by regular rider Frank Fuentes at 116 pounds.

Others in the field are Sky Jack, who will carry 123 pounds with Russell Baze riding; Alfurune, 116, Juan Gutierrez; Flying Notes, 116, Kevin Radke; Moonlight Meeting, 116, Gary Baze; Poker Brad, 116, Ben Russell; Total Limit, 116, Scott Saito; Handy N Bold, 115, Dave Wilson; Sabertooth, 115; and Salt Grinder, 112.

Rider Gallyn Mitchell will have his choice between Sabertooth and Salt Grinder, both trained by Jim Penney. Penney, who will be shooting for a record fifth Longacres Mile win, said he has not secured a rider for his other Mile starter.