11/07/2002 1:00AM

Dream Launcher a hot one


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Dream Launcher, perhaps the hottest older runner at Woodbine, heads a 10-horse field in Saturday's Grade 3 Woodbine Slots Cup, a 1 1/16-mile event formerly named the Autumn Handicap.

Dream Launcher, victorious in the 2001 Victoria Park Stakes, took a while to win this year. He finished third in the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap in May, and probably would have won his third-to-last outing, in an optional claimer, had he not been boxed in for most of the race.

Dream Launcher broke out of his slump with a four-length triumph in a seven-furlong allowance Sept. 14. He earned his second consecutive triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure most recently in the Durham Cup Handicap, winning in a romp while beating several of his Saturday rivals.

Owner-trainer Audre Cappuccitti was tickled with Dream Launcher's effort in the Grade 3 Durham Cup.

"I thought he ran huge that day," Cappuccitti said, "but I also think he's run good all year, while using different styles. He's a lovely horse who's had his problems."

Also entered in the $167,700 handicap were Lil Personalitee, Grand End Sweep, Lucky Molar, Captain Wallstreet, Attest, Parose, Devil Valentine, B.D. Victor, and Divine Luck.

Parose, a durable 8-year-old with $623,622 in the bank, mounted a four-wide rally from 12 lengths back to finish second in the Oct. 5 Durham Cup, which was his first appearance in 11 weeks.

Trainer Sandy McPherson, who believes Parose does his best running with some space between his races, was pleased with the gelding's Durham Cup performance.

"I thought he ran a good race," McPherson stressed. "Unfortunately, he fell way out of it early, and [Dream Launcher] was gone. I think he could have made a closer race out of it with a better trip. He was wide on both turns, and gave up a lot of ground."

Lil Personalitee won his first stakes in this year's Eclipse, and was also victorious Sept. 15 in the allowance prep for the Durham Cup. He was a nonthreatening fourth after a three-wide journey in the Durham Cup itself.

Trainer John Cardella felt Lil Personalitee made a premature move in the nine-furlong Durham Cup.

"I thought he was rushed up a little too soon," Cardella said. "It was a good race, and I think he'll come back and run better this time. He got a little tired, and I think it was a little farther than he wants to go. A mile and a sixteenth is perfect for him."

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