09/11/2003 11:00PM

Carroll apt presence in Smoke Glacken


OCEANPORT, N.J. - It will be only fitting to see Henry Carroll run Stormy Siege in the $50,000 Smoke Glacken Stakes Sunday at Monmouth Park.

The race honors Carroll's champion sprinter who earned an Eclipse Award in 1997.

"They say a man is entitled to one good woman and one good dog in life," Carroll said. "I guess a trainer is entitled to one good horse, and I've had mine."

Stormy Siege faces six rivals in the 2-year-old stakes race at six furlongs.

Stormy Siege didn't show much in his debut, but scored a sharp win in his second start.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will ship Boston Brahmin from his Belmont Park base. Boston Brahmin won his maiden at Belmont by 9 1/2 lengths, but could not handle a pair of Grade 2 Saratoga stakes assignments - the Sanford and Saratoga Special, which were both run over sloppy tracks.

Owner-breeder Gerald Sleeter will run back the New Jersey-bred Pointin West, who won his maiden on Sept. 6.

"It's a little close," Sleeter said. "There's nothing else coming up other than an allowance race on the last day of the meet."

Lissau, Tune of the Spirit, Midnight Express, and Stored complete the field.

Profitable sale of Grand Hombre does sting

The mood was somber around the Dennis Manning barn Friday morning, almost as though there had been a death in the family.

Nobody had died, but a prized member of the stable was missing. Manning returned from the Keeneland sales Thursday evening to contemplate the empty stall where Grand Hombre once stood.

Owner Earle Mack sold the unbeaten 3-year-old gelding to Darley Stud earlier in the week, and it left a void not easily filled.

"Everyone is telling me Mr. Mack did well, which he's supposed to do, and I made a nice commission," Manning said. "Mr. Mack was kind enough to take care of me. It means a lot in terms of monetary gain."

While no official price has been disclosed, published reports pegged the sales figure as high as $1.5 million.

You cannot, however, put a dollar figure on the satisfaction Manning derived from developing a potential champion.

"Business-wise, he did what he had to do," Manning said. "Horses like this don't come along very often."

Grand Hombre left Monday, leaving behind memories of four victories, including the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby.

Manning still has a top-class 3-year-old in the barn in Valid Video, who captured the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga in his most recent start.

Manning plans to train him up to the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

"Old faithful is still there," Manning said. "When I called upon him, he stepped up to the plate. I'm going to have to call upon him again in October, and I know the little guy will step up to the plate."

September business to be studied

Monmouth is racing in September for the first time since 1975, and the early results are encouraging. The first card following Labor Day fell on a rainy Thursday that attracted 3,204. The weather improved steadily through that weekend, and so did the crowds. Friday drew 4,044, followed by 6,664 on Saturday and 7,112 Sunday.

The figures are an important consideration as management and local horsemen discuss next year's schedule and whether Monmouth-in-September will be part of the mix.

"It's too early to make any decisions," said Bob Kulina, vice president of Thoroughbred racing for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the track. "We had some spectacular weather."

The major stakes focus of this final portion of the season is the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival Day on Sept. 20. The card will features stakes and races restricted to New Jersey-breds and will begin at 8 a.m. with an owner's seminar hosted by the Thoroughbred Owners Breeders Association. Tickets are $50 for TOBA members, $75 for non-members, and can be purchased from TOBA at 888-606-TOBA.

The meet concludes Sept. 28.