02/13/2003 1:00AM

Fonner Park track report


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Leaping Plum's streak of seven consecutive wins in the Grasmick Handicap at Fonner Park came to an end last year but the old boy still has plenty of fire left at age 12.

Leaping Plum returns to the races under his lightest Grasmick impost since 1995 - 120 pounds - as he seeking to improve upon his third-place finish of a year ago. This will be his ninth consecutive start in the $10,000-added stakes. With Newil Wall aboard, Leaping Plum will face five others in the half-mile sprint.

Last Saturday's crowd was treated to Leaping Plum's his first public appearance of the year when he breezed three furlongs before the first race in 38.40 seconds under Wall. Trained by Joe Moss and owned by Clyde Woods and Paul Miskimins, Leaping Plum also stretched his muscles Jan. 28 when he worked in 35.80, one of the fastest recorded works over the track this year.

A son of Lightning Leap out of the Dr. Blum mare Velvet Plum, Leaping Plum has captured 18 of 29 starts at Fonner. He started his career by winning his debut at Thistledown in November 1993.

Since then he has registered 30 wins from 67 starts while earning more than $386,677. His four-furlong local track record of 44.20, which came in his second Grasmick win, has stood since 1996. He also owns track marks at Lincoln (4 1/2 furlongs in 50) and at Prairie Meadows (5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.40).

His seven Grasmick titles is believed to be a record for consecutive wins in a Thoroughbred stakes race and he should be favored to make it 8 for 9.