01/29/2003 12:00AM

Coronas duel for first stakes win

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Coup of Corona and Teller Corona, two promising fillies by the top young sire Corona Cartel, go for their first stakes win in the $15,000 Santa Maria Handicap for 3-year-old fillies over 350 yards on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

Coup of Corona, owned by Celina and Corina Molina, comes off a strong showing in an allowance race Jan. 17 at Los Alamitos. In that 300-yard race she grabbed the early lead and then cruised to a 1 1/2-length win in an excellent 15.42 seconds.

In her only stakes appearance, Coup of Corona was third in the Corona Cash Handicap on June 15 at Los Alamitos as the 6-5 favorite.

Coup of Corona will be saddled by Carlos Lopez, who has returned to training at Los Alamitos and taken over the Jaime Gomez stable. Lopez had been tending to family business in Mexico for 4 1/2 years.

Marilyn Cockrill's Teller Corona is making her stakes debut. She has two wins and a pair of thirds from five starts, against allowance and maiden competition. In her last two starts she won a 300-yard allowance race and was third in a 350-yard allowance race.

Sign of Lanty goes after another Moonshiner

Three-time distance champion Sign of Lanty begins his 9-year-old campaign by trying to win the Grade 3, $25,000 The Moonshiner Handicap for the second straight year.

The Moonshiner will be run at 870 yards on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

Sign of Lanty, owned by Jackie and Rod MacPherson, has won the champion distance award the last three years. He has 16 stakes wins at Los Alamitos, only two stakes wins behind all-time leaders Charger Bar and Kaweah Bar.

In his most recent race, the John Cooper-trained Sign of Lanty won the Grade 1, $200,000 Marathon Invitational by a neck over Sterling Sport.

Sign of Lanty and Sterling Sport will share high weight of 125 pounds in The Moonshiner.

Sterling Sport, owned by Muller Racing and trained by Denny Ekins, won three straight stakes races at Los Alamitos before finishing second in his Marathon National trial and the finals.

The 4-year-old Available Credit, winner of a division of the Paul Ford Handicap at 550 yards, will be making his first start at 870 yards.

Carlotta Dream, The Cheetah meet again

Kool Kue Baby Handicap one-two finishers Carlotta Dream and The Cheetah meet again in the Grade 3, $50,000 KHEY/96 Handicap for fillies and mares over 350 yards at Sunland Park on Saturday afternoon.

In the Kool Kue Baby Handicap on Nov. 22 at Lone Star Park, Carlotta Dream closed strongly over the 400 yards to finish a half-length in front of The Cheetah.

The Kool Kue Baby Handicap was Carlotta Dream's most recent start while The Cheetah last raced to a win in the Sun Bowl Handicap on Dec. 29 at Sunland Park. In the Sun Bowl Handicap, The Cheetah defeated two mares who also were in the KHEY/96 Handicap - Ford Northwest Distaff Challenge winner Dangle a Carat and Mile High Derby winner Corona Music.