05/21/2002 11:00PM

Dream Launcher can take off

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Dream Launcher, fresh off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap, will be a short price in Friday's featured fourth race, a $100,000 optional claimer.

Dream Launcher, a 4-year-old owned and trained by Audre Cappuccitti, could be the lone speed in the 1 1/16-mile race. He made an impact in the second start of his career last spring, finishing a close second as a maiden here in the six-furlong Woodstock Stakes.

Dream Launcher subsequently graduated by 7 1/2 lengths in a seven-furlong maiden race, for which he earned a lofty Beyer Speed Figure of 96. He captured a 1 1/16-mile allowance on June 1, and then registered a gate-to-wire score in the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park Stakes.

Dream Launcher was moved from fifth to fourth by disqualification in his first attempt on turf, June 24 in the Charlie Barley Handicap. He was shelved for the remainder of the year after having ankle surgery in July.

Dream Launcher launched his current campaign, with the addition of Lasix, on April 27 in the seven-furlong Vigil Handicap, in which he faded to fifth after being pressed on the lead by eventual winner Wake at Noon. Last time in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse, he led until the top of the stretch, and was beaten 2 1/4 lengths, leaving the reigning Canadian Horse of the Year, Win City, in his wake.

Cappuccitti, who won the May 12 Hendrie Handicap with El Prado Essence, has given the return call to a hot Todd Kabel, Woodbine's leading rider in 2001.

Dream Launcher and Attest fit the nonwinners-of-four-other-than conditions of Friday's race. The other three entrants - Valid N Bold, Grand End Sweep, and Riddell's Creek - will run with a claiming price.

Grand End Sweep, claimed by owner-trainer Mike Wright for $80,000 from his seasonal debut on April 20, reaped immediate dividends in a classified allowance nine days ago. He rallied stoutly from far back after breaking slowly in that seven-furlong dash, and won by three-quarters of a length, earning $48,540.

Grand End Sweep has a decent record at 1 1/16 miles, and when he gets good, he tends to stay that way for a while. Ray Sabourin retains the mount.

Valid N Bold, who has not seen action since he romped in a $40,000 claimer at Gulfstream Park Feb. 17, is making his first start for trainer Tom Bowden.

Attest showed surprising speed when he came off the shelf in an $80,000 optional claimer May 4, ending up second to No Comprende.

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