02/19/2005 1:00AM

Class-dropper in sweet spot


NEW ORLEANS - Trainer Jeff Trosclair appears to have found the right spot for False Promises in Monday's feature race at Fair Grounds, a $62,500 optional claimer for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

False Promises finished ninth in his first race over the course last month, the Col. Bradley Handicap, but it was his first race after a freshening and he was beaten less than five lengths. False Promises, 5, has been facing better than these, but failed to win a race in 2004 in seven starts. He has plenty of back class, though, having won the Grade 3, $250,000 Hawthorne Derby on the grass in 2003. Corey Lanerie will ride.

Classic Par appears to be his main rival. Classic Par, 7, was claimed for this price out of his last start, a dirt route, by Michael Gill, and trainer Gamaliel Vazquez wheels him back for the same price on grass. Classic Par has earned $181,350 on the grass in 19 starts and has 2 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds on the Fair Grounds grass in nine starts. Carlos Marquez Jr. will ride.

Exploited Storm is another talented turf runner in this race. Exploited Storm won the Paradise Creek at Arlington Park last year, one of four wins in 12 lifetime starts.

Gallo Del Bar, a graded-stakes winner in Chile who is trained by David Carroll, won his first U.S. race over the Fair Grounds turf course earlier this meet.

Tempered Steel comes out of a victory over this course against cheaper. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Tempered Steel was dead game under leading jockey Robby Albarado in both starts this meet, and Albarado rides him back.

King Magic has been off since November, but has run some excellent turf races and will not be hurt if the race is washed off the grass.

Sprinkler malfunction

Due to a malfunction in the Fair Grounds automatic watering system, the inner rail around the turf course had to be moved out 25 feet, causing the seventh race on Saturday's card to be taken off the grass. And the ninth race - the Grade 3 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap - was actually run at a slightly longer distance as a result.

"The area affected by the malfunction was between the five-sixteenths pole and the quarter pole," said Fair Grounds president Randy Soth. "The rail is being moved out to 25 feet, and the turf course has been rolled."