12/13/2001 12:00AM

Beulah: 'John Q's' vs. Leaping Plum


GROVE CITY, Ohio - John Q's Winner, who captured the Best of Ohio Sprint Championship here in October, is the 121-pound starting highweight in Saturday's six-furlong, $25,000 Samuel Handicap at Beulah Park.

John Q's Winner has won two of his 10 starts this year for trainer Rod Madrigal Sr. but has been facing tougher competition than he meets in the Samuel, which is restricted to horses who have started at the Beulah Park fall meeting. Regular rider Scott Saito will be in from his Thistledown base for the mount on Saturday.

Multiple stakes winner Leaping Plum is the one to beat in the Samuel. A 10-year-old gelding, he has won 29 of his 63 career starts, good for more than $373,000 in earnings. In his most recent start, he scored an easy 4 1/4-length victory against allowance company here on Oct. 13, clocking the six furlongs in a rapid 1:09.16 over the muddy surface.

Trained by Joe Moss, Leaping Plum is undefeated in two local starts and will carry 118 pounds, including jockey Alex Birzer.