12/04/2009 12:00AM

Klassi Berti will be closing


NEW ORLEANS - Off his recent efforts, Klassi Berti looks like he might be best suited to run 6 1/2 or 7 furlongs - distances not run on the main track at Fair Grounds. So trainer Steve Margolis figures his best option with Klassi Berti is to run him at six furlongs, which is the distance of Sunday's eighth race, a second-level optional $40,000 claimer.

"The thing we figured out with him at the Fair Grounds last year is that he is better at six furlongs than a mile and 40 yards, and those are our options here," said Margolis. "With the long stretch, the shortening up shouldn't be a big problem for him."

Three races ago, coming back after a nine month layoff, Klassi Berti was much the best in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race at Turfway. He made his move much earlier than usual in that Sept. 12 race, and it paid off with a 5 1/2-length victory.

In his last two races, however, Klassi Berti went back to a closing style and ran out of ground, finishing fourth both times.

"His last two races were good, he closed well," said Margolis. "He is a closing sprinter, that's his best type race, and it looks like there is some speed in this race."

Among the six-horse field, Hello Ladies, Stryker, and Sumfun are usually on or near the lead.

Sumfun, in particular, has thrived at this distance, with 5 wins from 8 starts at six furlongs, including stakes victories in New Mexico and Texas. This is the third start for Sumfun since he returned from a layoff of more than a year. He finished third in an optional claimer at Remington in his return, and then won for a $30,000 tag over the Fair Grounds turf course. He is in for the $40,000 tag.

* The fifth race, a first-level turf allowance for 2-year-old fillies at a mile, has come up unusually deep. In a field of seven, six enter with stakes experience.

Seasoned sports the most impressive resume, having finished third in the $100,000 La Senorita over the turf at Retama on Oct. 24 and second in the Happy Ticket at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 19.