02/16/2002 1:00AM

Leaping Plum's streak comes to an end


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- R C Mr Hay Boy ended Leaping Plum's seven-year domination of the Grasmick Handicap Saturday afternoon at Fonner Park, posting a $58.20 upset in the process.

Leaping Plum, in what is thought to be a world record, had won the Grasmick each year since 1995. An 11-year-old, trained by Joe Moss, Leaping Plum finished third Saturday, beaten 1 1/4 lengths.

With Newil Wall riding in the four-furlong stakes, Leaping Plum, broke a bit slowly and then launched a four-wide move on the turn of this five-eighths of a mile oval. He rallied in the stretch to be closing in on the leaders at the finish but ran out of ground.

R C Mr Hay Boy, under Fernando Rojas, dueled three wide through the turn, and then gamely held April Sunshine safe to win by a neck. A 4-year-old son of Haymakert trained by Jose Ibarra, R C Mr Hay Boy posted his first career stakes victory in a time of 45.80 seconds. The track record for the distance is 44.20, set by Leaping Plum in the 1996 Grasmick.

April Sunshine was with the winner throughout and held the place, a length in front of Leaping Plum.

Neraks Eman, who dueled with the leaders along the inside, broke down in his right hind leg turning for home and had to be euthanized.