11/03/2005 12:00AM

Free Corona out to prove he's still got it


He was horse of the meet during the 2002-03 Turf Paradise stand, but Free Corona hasn't run since May 2003. Still, Free Corona will carry high weight of 123 pounds in Saturday's $40,000 Walter R. Cluer Handicap. A 7 1/2-furlong turf event named in honor of Turf Paradise's founder, the Cluer lured a full field of 10 and one also-eligible.

A 7-year-old trained by Kathy Schenk, Free Corona was marvelous here in 2003. He won the Kokopelli Handicap before chasing a number of top Southern California invaders home in the Turf Paradise Breeders' Cup Handicap, finishing sixth by three lengths. After that, he went on a tear, finishing first in the Captain Boogie, the Black Mountain Handicap (disqualified to second), the Da Hoss, the Mocha Express, and the Wildcat Handicap. He then shipped to Bay Meadows and ran second to Reba's Gold in the Grade 3 Seabiscuit.

Free Corona hasn't raced since the Seabiscuit, but he has worked steadily of late, and, with a record of 4 for 7, he certainly loves this course. Leslie Mawing rides.

Cocoa Latte comes into the Cluer razor sharp for owners Keith and Kelly Grinolds and trainer Don Mills. A 4-year-old gelding, Cocoa Latte has not run on turf since last November. Since then he he has won 6 of 11 starts, including the Honor the Hero here in February and a stakes at Arapahoe in Colorado. In his last start, Cocoa Latte finished second by a nose to the razor-sharp 3-year-old Scottsbluff in the Caballos del Sol here Oct. 8. Scottsbluff flattered Cocoa Latte's performance when he came back last week to impressively win the Saguaro. Cocoa Latte has won one of his two turf starts. Glen Corbett rides Cocoa Latte, the 122-pound second highweight.

Also tabbed at 122 pounds is Point Dume. Point Dume comes off a wire-to-wire win in the Mr. Pappion here Oct. 18. That race came in the slop, and Point Dume has yet to win in four turf attempts. Wilson Dieguez rides for trainer Dan McFarlane.