02/22/2003 12:00AM

Leaping Plum wins Grasmick for eighth time

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - Leaping Plum recaptured his glory Saturday afternoon when the 12-year-old captured the four-furlong Grasmick Handicap at Fonner Park for the eighth time in nine years.

A winner of seven straight editions of the Grasmick before settling for third in last year's edition, Leaping Plum came from just off the pace with a three-wide move under Newil Wall. He surged clear in midstretch then held off Tonight Rainbow under hand urging to prevail by three-quarters of a length in 46.80 seconds over a fast but dull surface. Joe Moss trains the son of Lightning Leap for owners Clyde Woods and Paul Miskimins.

Leaping Plum's seven straight Grasmick wins, from 1995-2001, are believed to be a record for consecutive wins in the same stakes event. He returned to the winner's circle this year while collecting his 29th career victory versus Thoroughbreds. He has earned more than $365,000.