03/01/2008 1:00AM

Classy Deelites manages to win


Classy Deelites shortened strides, ducked in sharply, and in the final furlong of the Gentilly Stakes on Saturday at Fair Grounds, generally did little right - other than win.

Saved by the wire, Classy Deelites held on to win the $60,000 Gentilly by a diminishing 1 1/4 lengths over favored Peteadoris, who could not quicken fast enough to catch the winner in a race restricted to Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds.

With Jamie Theriot aboard, Classy Deelites made the lead soon after the start Saturday, but finished better in the Gentilly than he had in a Feb. 10 Louisiana-bred allowance race, where he set the pace and finished third in his turf debut. Owned by Jerry Bornhagen, Classy Deelites is trained by Tucker Alonzo, who steered the career of the crack sprinter Bonapaw a few years back,

The Fair Grounds grass course has a reputation for swallowing speed horses, but Classy Deelites held on despite setting a legitimate pace of 23.80 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 48.96 for the half, and 1:14.02 for six furlongs. Speed had been holding unusually well earlier in the card, and Classy Deelites, despite obviously weakening, did just enough to earn the top prize.

He was timed in 1:46.01 for about 1 1/16 miles over a firm course, and paid $39.20 to win. Peteadoris barely got second ahead of Snug, who outfinished his entrymate Cubera for third.

Earlier on the card, favored Hisse rallied nicely through the stretch in her turf debut, and won the $60,000 Sarah Lane's Oates by four lengths.

Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, Hisse had made eight prior dirt starts, winning just one of them, but acquitting herself respectably in a series of Louisiana-bred stakes races. She improved on turf, agreeing to be rated off a moderate pace when Bridgmohan took a hold of her going into the first turn. Hisse raced just in behind the leaders, came out for a clear run after turning for home, and quickened nicely in the last furlong.

Hisse, owned by the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, paid $4.80 to win and was timed in 1:39.34 for about one mile on grass.