04/17/2002 11:00PM

Turf Paradise: Old-timers square off

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PHOENIX - For Singin N D Shower, procrastinating is a good thing.

A 7-year-old gelding, he does his best work when he sits back, waits till the last second, and then blasts home. He didn't follow that tack last time and paid the price, but a return to that style would make him the horse to beat in Saturday's $14,200 feature at Turf Paradise. The $25,000 optional claimer at a mile on the turf has lured a field of seven.

Singin N D Shower, now trained by Scott Morse, has won 10 of 40 starts for earnings of more than $80,000. Since coming to Turf Paradise from Remington Park in the winter he has won two of six starts, with one second, and a third. When last seen, in a 1 1/8-mile classified allowance race on the turf, he was up closer early, stalking in fourth. But when the field turned for home Singin N D Shower had nothing to offer, fading to fifth and beaten 11 lengths.

Not only will the distance cutback help, but certainly a return to his sit-back-and-make-one-big-late-run strategy can reap dividends. Seth Martinez has the ride, and he was up for one of Singin N D Shower's wins and a narrow second.

Ceetoit is also a 7-year-old who has been a battler. He has won 14 of 40 starts in his career for earnings of more than $87,000. He is, however, winless in his only two turf tries. In his last race, a mile on the turf, he was third in a nonwinners-of-two-other-than, finishing two lengths behind Singin N D Shower. He needs to find a way to make up a couple lengths if he is going to handle the top choice.

The most interesting entrant may be Free Corona. Trained by Kathy Schenk, Free Corona has run just four times, all main track sprints. He has, however, shown considerable ability and worked a strong 58.80 seconds for five furlongs April 13. If he can handle turf and the route he will be scary indeed.