10/02/2002 11:00PM

Age hasn't slowed Parose

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Venerable 8-year-old Parose is fresh and ready to make his mark in Saturday's Grade 3, $164,850 Durham Cup Handicap at Woodbine.

Parose was claimed by trainer Sandy McPherson on behalf of owner John Atto for $62,500 last December, and has proven to be well worth the money.

Parose, who hit the board in all three of his races last winter at Gulfstream Park, has been campaigned sparingly at this meet, with the notion that he runs well with some space between his races. He has recorded two wins and a second here this year, and has been absent since capturing the restricted Izvestia Handicap on July 20.

"It's been a long time since he's run," McPherson said. "I would have loved to have had another race into him, but there wasn't really anything else for him. He seems to run his best when he's been off a while, although I've never had him off this long."

McPherson has a great deal of admiration for Parose, who commenced his career in his native Alberta.

"He's just a nice old horse," McPherson said. "He's 8, but has been running as good as he ever has. He ran for a $12,500 tag in Alberta, but then he got claimed and improved. He ended up winning the Speed to Spare Stakes, which is one of the biggest races out there.

"I wasn't even a little surprised that he won the Izvestia," McPherson added. "He was a very handy winner - he just dragged Todd Kabel around there. I have no problem with running him against these horses. I think he belongs."

Rounding out the lineup for the nine-furlong Durham Cup are No Comprende, Captain Wallstreet, A Fleets Dancer, Dream Launcher, Lil Personalitee, B.D. Victor, and Early Wisdom.

Lil Personalitee, who was victorious in the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap in May, is coming off a three-quarter-length tally in an allowance prep for this event.

Trainer John Cardella said Lil Personalitee, the 120-pound highweight, has trained well since the prep.

"He's been galloping awfully good," Cardella said. "I breezed him the other day in a two-minute clip. He's coming into the race in excellent order."

A Fleets Dancer, a 7-year-old trained by Roger Attfield, was voted Canada's champion older horse in 2001, after winning this race in a romp. He is winless this year, but was a fast-closing second to Lil Personalitee in the prep.

Early Wisdom, the lone 3-year-old in the field, earned a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Grade 3 McLaughlin Handicap at 34-1 three weeks ago.

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