07/28/2006 12:00AM

Candid Glen brings back-class

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BOSSIER CITY, La. - Turf racing at the higher class levels is usually off for most of the summer at Louisiana Downs, but a course made lush by midweek rains and a stakes-caliber field in Sunday's optional claiming feature promises to give grass aficionados a rare treat.

A group of eight horses will go about a mile over the turf in pursuit of a $26,500 purse.

The race marks the return of Candid Glen. A winner of more than $1.2 million in his storied career, the 9-year-old gelding has not raced since a fifth-place finish in the 2005 Barksdale Handicap, which was rained off the grass. It was then found that Candid Glen had a suspensory injury and trainer Andy Leggio gave him almost a year off before putting him back in training in May.

Candid Glen is a five-time stakes winner who has won a record three runnings of the Connally Breeders' Cup at Sam Houston Race Park as well as the Grade 2 Explosive Bid Handicap at Fair Grounds in 2003.

Jeff Burningham will ride.

Multiple stakes winner Silver Haze appears to be the primary obstacle for Candid Glen. Although he has yet to win this year, the 4-year-old Silver Deputy colt has shown a fondness for the Louisiana Downs turf, winning both the Excalibur and Bossier City stakes over it last summer, as well as the Woodchopper Stakes late in the year during the Fair Grounds meet that was conducted here.

In his most recent start, Silver Haze ran an uninspired fourth in early July in the Independence Handicap, which was rained off the turf. He should like the move back to the grass as he seeks to make amends. Regular rider E.J. Perrodin will again be in the saddle.

Erroneous I D, the second-place finisher in the soggy Indepen-dence, is certainly no stranger to the turf, having won twice and finished second twice in seven starts on it. Trained by Pat Mouton, Erroneous I D will have Don Simington in the irons.

The Al Stall Jr.-trained Tromp, a regular in the stakes ranks here last season, is another hoping to jumpstart a successful fall campaign. A 5-year-old son of Unbridled, he showed some life with a close second-place finish in optional company in mid-June, but regressed in his most recent start when he beat only one horse in a similar spot on July 4.

Lonnie Meche will ride.