05/11/2004 12:00AM

Parose goes after milestone

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The 10-year-old Parose, one of the top older runners at Woodbine in recent years, will vault over the $1 million mark in earnings with a victory in Thursday's sixth race. A field of seven was drawn for the $62,500 claimer, which will be contested at 1 1/16 miles for purse of $59,100.

Parose won two Grade 3 stakes during the past two seasons, the 2003 Durham Cup Handicap and the 2002 Woodbine Slots Cup, a race in which he was third last year.

Parose was given some time off after finishing third in the Nov. 30 Valedictory Handicap. Trainer Sandy McPherson took him to Gulfstream for the winter, where he ran fifth in a difficult $75,000 optional claimer on Jan. 18. The winner of that race, Ground Storm, captured the Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct in his next start and then ended up fourth in the Grade 3 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Parose has worked regularly since returning from Florida. McPherson, who has been winning at a 26 percent clip with his 61- to 180-day layoff runners, will give Todd Kabel a leg up on the gelding.

Completing the sixth-race field are Parrott Bay, P.J.'s Paulie Boy, Amazon River, Hot Pepper Hill, Line of Defense, and Holy Triumph.

Parrott Bay, a 7-year-old A.P. Indy gelding, is competing at his fifth different track since returning from a layoff in December. He was a fast-closing second when he came off the sidelines in a Tampa allowance, then got cooked in a speed duel in the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston. He rebounded with a runner-up placing in the Feb. 21 Delta Mile, and finished fourth and fifth in his last two starts, stakes at Delta Downs and Hawthorne.

Parrott Bay is making his first start for Fort Erie-based trainer Nick Gonzalez. Brian Bochinski has the mount.

P.J.'s Paulie Bay ran just once over the winter at Gulfstream, finishing a fifth in a $62,500 claimer on the grass. A late runner trained by Mark Casse, he won two of eight outings here last year, including a preliminary allowance on the turf.

Line of Defense is coming off a $50,000 claim by trainer Abraham Katryan. He came from well off the pace to finish third at five furlongs in his season opener.

Restricted stakes winner Hot Pepper Hill is returning from a five-month layoff for trainer Sid Attard, who claimed him for $50,000 in September.