12/16/2005 12:00AM

Trosclair excited about Fort Prado


BOSSIER CITY, La. - Trainer Jeff Trosclair has not had Fort Prado for very long, but he already likes what he sees. Fort Prado will be the starting highweight in Sunday's $75,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs, which drew a field of seven and will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

"We've had him for about two weeks now," said Trosclair on Friday morning. "He is a big, strapping individual who looks like a runner, and his past performances seem to back that up."

Trosclair inherited the conditioning duties on Fort Prado from Chris Block, whose family owns Fort Prado. Block traditionally does not make the move south for the winter from his home base of Chicago.

"Chris has done a terrific job with this horse and has been very helpful," said Trosclair. "I just want to continue to do what they have done and get the kind of effort out of him that he is capable of."

Trosclair said Fort Prado had an excuse in his last race, a sixth-place performance in the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November.

"I saw a tape of the race and he had absolutely no room," Trosclair said. "When the running started, he was stuck down on the inside with no place to go. The winner, America Alive, took the outside route and that was the difference in the race."

Robby Albarado will ride Fort Prado and make up most of the assigned 122 pounds.

Fort Prado will be spotting his rivals from four to 11 pounds, including seven pounds to the steady runner Middleweight. Winner of the Sport City Handicap at the Louisiana Downs meeting in September, Middleweight most recently finished first in an optional claiming race here Dec. 3, but was disqualified for a bumping incident in upper stretch. Regular rider Gerard Melancon will once again be in the saddle for trainer Al Stall Jr.

Major Rhythm invades for the Bradley after just missing in the Laurel Turf Cup in his most recent start. A well-traveled 6-year-old, Major Rhythm has yet to win this season, but has been knocking on the door while keeping some pretty good company. In addition to his most recent runner-up finish, Major Rhythm finished third in the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star and third in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap. Earlie Fires will ride for trainer Edward Beam.