07/01/2005 11:00PM

Surface big factor in Mecke


MIAMI - Some trainers with horses entered in Monday's $100,000 Mecke Handicap at Calder, such as David Fawkes, Bill White, and Ralph Biszantz, are probably hoping for rain. Some, like David Brownlee and Victor Falzone, are likely praying for a little dry spell. Others, like Ralph Ziadie, probably don't care either way.

The Mecke is carded at 1 1/8 miles on the turf, although grass racing has been almost nonexistent here over the last several weeks during what has been another typical south Florida rainy season.

Fawkes will saddle Twilight Road in the Mecke, and while the 8-year-old gelding did win the Miami Mile Breeders' Cup on turf here last summer, he is far more effective on dirt, over which he has posted 11 of his 12 career victories. Twilight Road is coming off a successful defense of his title in the Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap, when he overcame an eventful trip to defeat Who's Crying Now. He was also third in the Texas Mile and second in the Skip Away, both Grade 3 dirt races, earlier this year.

A little rain could help White and Biszantz draw in off the also-eligible list with Sir Ray and Perspicacious, who are coming off three straight battles in Calder's Senior Triple Crown series. Perspicacious, who is also owned by Biszantz, got the better of those battles with Sir Ray, winning two of the three legs of the series, including the 1 1/2-mile New York New York Stakes on June 11.

If the race goes as scheduled on grass, Final Prophecy, trained by Brownlee, will be the starting highweight under 120 pounds and be heavily favored coming off back-to-back wins in the Carterista Handicap and Band Is Passing Stakes. Should the Mecke switch to the main track, Brownlee would likely scratch Final Prophecy, who has not hit the board in four dirt races.

Falzone is looking for turf with Keep Cool, who was a tiring fifth in the Carterista and won a tough four-other-than allowance race on the grass this winter at Gulfstream Park.

Ziadie will send out the versatile and razor-sharp Cervelo rain or shine Monday. Cervelo is coming off a game neck decision over Nightmare Affair in the Blazing Sword Stakes, a race switched from turf to a sloppy main track June 5. That followed a second-place finish in a third-level allowance over the turf 19 days earlier.