06/04/2004 11:00PM

If there's pace, look for Class of Seventy


MIAMI - The potential for a major speed battle should land Class of Seventy back in the winner's circle for the first time since September 2002 in Monday's $30,000 optional claiming feature at Calder. The race is scheduled to be run at one mile on the turf.

Perhaps the main obstacles for Class of Seventy are the weather and track condition. Rain forced Saturday's races here to be taken off the grass, and there were showers in the forecast in south Florida for the remainder of the weekend. Class of Seventy has never won a race over a fast dirt track, but he has posted three of his six career victories in the slop. The other three have come on turf.

Class of Seventy is coming off a big effort under similar conditions May 10, when he overcame trouble on the far turn to finish second behind the favored Unbridels King. The 87 Beyer Speed Figure that Class of Seventy earned came within three points of his career best figure on grass.

Class of Seventy figures to receive pace help from Last Stand and Paradise Dancer. Last Stand is rarely headed for the lead at a mile or beyond, although he figures to get an early challenge from Paradise Dancer, a sprinter who stretches out around two turns and will be making his grass debut if this race stays on the turf.

Among the other key contenders are Broadway Snowman and Decorador. Broadway Snowman won a second-level allowance race on the turf here May 10. Decorador, an Argentina-bred, will be making his U.S. debut. He was Group 2 stakes placed on both turf and dirt in his native country in 2003.

Island Skipper, entered for main-track only, will be among the favorites if the race is taken off the grass.

Surface switch keys R. Associate

A late morning rainstorm opened the doors for R. Associate to earn his first victory of the season in Saturday's $40,000 Lord Juban Stakes.

The heavy showers moved the Lord Juban from the turf to the main track, resulting in eight of the original 14 entrants, including likely favorite Mr. Livingston, to be scratched. R. Associate rallied from off a slow pace to defeat Unbridels King by three quarters of a length.

It was another 4 1/4 lengths back in third to 7-5 favorite Marco's Word.

Eddie Castro rode R. Associate, who paid $10.80.