06/24/2002 12:00AM

Dream has been a nightmare


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Dream Launcher, a beaten favorite last time out, will try to avenge that loss in Wednesday's Woodbine feature, an $80,000 allowance/optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up.

Dream Launcher, the lone stakes winner in the field, won the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park here in June of last year. After finishing fifth in his turf debut in the Charlie Barley Handicap later that month, Dream Launcher was put away for the remainder of 2001 by owner/trainer Audre Cappuccitti after undergoing ankle surgery.

Dream Launcher launched his current campaign on April 27 in the Vigil Handicap, in which he faded to fifth after being pressed on the lead by the eventual winner, Wake at Noon. Three weeks later, against some of the top older runners on the grounds in the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap, he finished a respectable third after leading until the head of the stretch.

Dream Launcher was bet down to just 2-5 most recently in a $100,000 optional claimer. He looked like a sure winner after getting away with slow fractions on an uncontested lead, but was surprisingly empty in the stretch, and finished a well-beaten second to Attest.

Dream Launcher has had about a month off heading into Wednesday's engagement, and has been working up a storm on the training track. On June 9, he breezed six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.60. Todd Kabel retains the mount.

Rounding out the field for the 1 1/16-mile race will be Parrott Bay, Spicy Prospector, Valid N Bold, and Mr. Perpetuity.

Mr. Perpetuity, coming off a pair of front-running victories, could be Dream Launcher's foil. He was claimed two starts ago for $50,000 by trainer Scott Fairlie, who ran him back in a $62,500 optional claimer 10 days ago. Mr. Perpetuity set a sizzling pace on a substantial lead in his latest race and prevailed by daylight in good time.

Parrott Bay and Valid N Bold are both stalkers who should be ideally positioned if a front-end battle materializes.

Parrott Bay, based at Fort Erie with trainer Nick Gonzalez, fared well without winning at Gulfstream last winter. He is coming off back-to-back triumphs here in allowance company.

Valid N Bold earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure when he romped in a $40,000 claimer at Gulfstream in February. After a three-month respite, he finished fourth behind Attest and Dream Launcher here May 24, and was recently third over soft turf in a race at this level.

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