09/03/2003 11:00PM

Donn in Grand Hombre's grand plan


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Dennis Manning continues to map a cautious schedule for Grand Hombre, a rising star in the 3-year-old ranks.

Grand Hombre, an unbeaten gelding, captured the Grade 3, $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby Monday in his stakes debut. It was his fourth win.

Manning has designated the Grade 3, $400,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park Oct. 3 as Grand Hombre's next start.

Assuming all goes well in Indiana, Grand Hombre will close out his campaign in the Grade 3, $150,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Nov. 16.

Manning plans to take the horse to Ocala, Fla., for winter training, with the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park the tentative early target for 2004.

Manning is a strong believer in giving horses time to mature and develop. He resisted the temptation to run Grand Hombre in the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell at Monmouth Park, passing up the big event at the horse's home track. He has taken a similar stand against the Breeders' Cup Classic at this time.

"I think he's a quality 3-year-old, and I think he's come along and done everything we've asked him to do," Manning said. "I'd like to have him around next year. I think he can be a top contender in the handicap division next year.

"Rather than run an unseasoned 3-year-old against Mineshaft and Candy Ride, I'd rather have somebody else worry next year about running their 3-year-old against my older horse."

Manning does have the Breeders' Cup in focus for his other 3-year-old star, Valid Video. The winner of the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga, Valid Video will make his next start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Cocktailsandreams finds easier spot

Cocktailsandreams should appreciate the softer competition the $50,000 Lighthouse Stakes offers Saturday afternoon at Monmouth Park.

A 6-year-old mare, she last ran in the Grade 3, $100,000 Matchmaker Handicap and turned in a strong effort at 31-1. She slipped through to take the lead turning for home and held on for a solid third.

"I thought we were home for a minute," said trainer Frank Generazio. "But then the class kicked in."

Everything has gone smoothly since then.

"She's training good," said Generazio. "I'm very happy with the way she's going."

Cocktailsandreams faces 10 rivals in the 1 1/16-mile stakes for fillies and mares on the grass.

On a rain-soaked Thursday morning, Generazio looked skyward and offered one request.

"I just hope it's on the turf," he said.

Goosey Gander is another contender looking for turf, as 21 of her 24 career starts have come on the grass. She won a Monmouth turf allowance in her latest outing.

Media Access will be making her fourth start of the year - in four different states. She has run third at Colonial Downs, Delaware Park, and Mountaineer.

Twilights Prayer is a hard-knocking New Jersey-bred mare who ran fifth in the Matchmaker. She earlier won the Spuce Fir Stakes against Jersey-breds.

Completing the field are Annatoga, Rebecca's Charm, Strodes Lane, Lady Linda, Noteable, Misty Sixes, and Coney Kitty. Frankie's Star, Vikki Slew, and Twinwinwin are listed as also-eligibles

Wild Snitch heading home

Trainer Ben Perkins, Jr. had an upbeat assessment on Wild Snitch Thursday morning.

The filly will leave a clinic this week for owner Eb Novak's New Farm in Marlton, N.J., as she continues the recovery from a condylar fracture of the right foreleg. "The doctors did fantastic work putting in plates and screws," Perkins said. "She's pretty stable now. At the time, it looked like a bad thing."

The 2002 Sorority winner, Wild Snitch suffered the injury in the running of the Miss Woodford Stakes on Aug. 23.

Lanyon wins, thanks to Jakey D

Ken Lanyon of Ocean, N.J., was in 23rd place with one race to go in Monmouth's first handicapping challenge on Aug. 30. He bet $200 to win on Jakey D, a longshot in the 11th race at Saratoga. Jakey D came roaring through the lane to pull off the upset. The $39.20 way payoff was enough to catapult Lanyon into first place.

He earned the $15,000 top prize and qualified for the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Jan. 23-24, 2004, at Bally's Las Vegas. Runner-up David Krosunger of Wallingford, Pa., also qualified for the championship.