11/18/2004 12:00AM

Pure, Point Dume tangle in turf stakes


PHOENIX - Southern California invaders Pure and Point Dume head Saturday's $40,000 Paradise Valley Handicap at Turf Paradise. The 7 1/2-furlong turf race lured a field of 10.

Pure is stuck with the outside post, but he comes here razor-sharp. He has won 2 of his last 3, including a strong five-length victory in a mile starter allowance on turf at Santa Anita last time. Trained by Troy Bainum, Pure dueled early and drew off to win handily, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 92 under apprentice David Cohen. A bullet five-furlong work in 59.40 seconds at Hollywood Park on Nov. 10 shows that Pure retains his edge. Cohen comes back for the ride Saturday,

Pure must deal with Point Dume, a speedster who has run well here. Point Dume, trained by Bob Hess Jr., shipped here in January for the Rattlesnake, a mile dirt event. He was beaten by a head by Western Ridge, whom he will meet again Saturday, but both he and Western Ridge were disqualified for causing bumping in the lane.

Point Dume must prove that he can do better on turf (he is 0 for 2) and handle a disadvantageous outside draw (post 9). His only two turf starts at least were solid: a third and a close fifth last time out at Santa Anita. Mick Ruis has the call.

Western Ridge returns to the Southwest after a couple of disappointing outings against tougher at Hawthorne. He set the pace but faltered in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby and now returns to the site of his Tempe Handicap dead-heat victory in March. That was his only local turf try. Kelly Bridges rides for Dan Felipe.

Cocoa Latte, trained by Don Mills, comes off a second in the Saguaro here Oct. 30, a dirt sprint. His only turf try was a last-place finish, however, so the surface is an issue. Scott Stevens rides.