07/03/2004 12:00AM

Expect improvement from Cool N Collective


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The holiday weekend at Monmouth Park concludes Monday with a pair of stakes that range from hard-knocking veterans to tender fillies.

The $70,000 Skip Away, a mile and 70-yard race, showcases seasoned runners, and the $60,000 Little Silver features 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Trainer Dennis Manning wasn't discouraged by Cool N Collective's last race, in which Cool N Collective finished fourth by 16 3/4 lengths.

Cool N Collective gets a chance to narrow that gap in the Skip Away, and Manning expects a better result. The last race, the Frisk Me Now Stakes on Monmouth's opening weekend, was Cool N Collective's first since November.

"I thought he ran well last time, first start off the layoff," said Manning. "And he ran into two buzzsaws [Unforgettable Max and Pretty Wild]. The race went a little too fast for him and was a little too short at a flat mile."

The Skip Away includes proven runners like Docent, Donald's Pride, and Presidentialaffair.

With over $800,000 in earnings, Docent has plenty of stakes experience. The winner of the Maryland Million Classic last fall, Docent tuned up for this race with a five-furlong work in 1:01 on June 23 at Delaware Park.

Donald's Pride, a 4-year-old, has raced primarily at Charles Town and has compiled 6 wins from only 11 starts. He most recently finished third, beaten only a head, in the Brandywine Handicap at Delaware Park.

Presidentialaffair has had three starts this year and ran third each time. He won the Grade 3 Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct last November.

October Glory in stakes debut

October Glory has made few mistakes in her five-race career. That consistency earned her a stakes debut in the Little Silver.

October Glory has shown a powerful closing kick, one she unleashed last out to score a 6 1/2-length allowance win in a race scheduled for the grass but run on the main track.

"She's done nothing wrong," said trainer Phil Oliver. "She's a nice filly, and I think she's better on turf."

October Glory looks like a filly who would enjoy even more distance.

"I think she'll get whatever distance you want," said Oliver. "As long as it's two turns, she's going to be tough."

Other contenders include Capeside Lady, a winner of two New York-bred stakes at Belmont Park last fall, and Dancing Colors, a rallying winner in her U.S. debut.