07/15/2002 11:00PM

Manning loads up for juvenile stakes

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Dennis Manning has a variety of horses in his barn, ranging from 2-year-olds all the way up to the 8-year-old grass stakes winner Key Lory. But it's his arsenal of juveniles that will make the most noise out of the barn in the next month as the Sapling and Sorority Stakes approach.

Manning already holds a hot hand for the Grade 3 Sapling in Valid Video, a son of Valid Wager who debuted with a win June 14 in which he ran thee quickest five furlongs of the meet - 57.11 seconds. And Manning's division of juveniles only got stronger last week, as he welcomed three 2-year-olds purchased by his main owner, Mac Fehsenfeld, at the Timonium 2-year-old in training sales July 9.

Of the three newcomers, Manning said, two should run this meet.

The second most expensive 2-year-old purchased at the sales was Away to Go, a daughter of Skip Away bought for $67,000 by Fehsenfeld. Manning said she should be ready to run within the next few weeks, and could be the filly that gives Manning his Grade 3 Sorority starter Aug. 25.

Manning said Away to Go worked very well at the sales, going 34.40 for three furlongs and galloping out in 48 flat. Away to Go was a buyback from the Ocala March 2-year-old sales, and Manning said she worked 22 flat for two furlongs and went out in 45 flat at that sales.

"She moved very well in her workout," Manning said. "She's a good-sized filly and has a good confirmation."

Away to Go had her first opportunity to breeze over the Monmouth strip on Monday, as she and Valid Video logged solid three-furlong workouts. Away to Go traveled the distance in 38 seconds, and Valid Video's 35.80 breeze was the quickest of seven that morning. Manning said Valid Video will train right up to the Sapling.

Also coming to the barn is $37,000 purchase Wildy Hot and $22,000 purchase Bella Sienna. Manning said Wildly Hot, a 2-year-old bay colt by Tabasco Cat and out of the stakes-winning mare Wild Lady A., should debut later in the meet. He said Bella Sienna, a late May foal by Wild Again, won't race till she's 3.

Alphabetical's confidence-builder

Alan Seewald said Alphabetical needed a confidence-builder for a race, and he surely got that with a solid win in an entry-level turf allowance Saturday.

Alphabetical entered the race without a victory on the turf, but he had run into some heady opponents in his four career starts, running second three times. In his first career turf start, at Calder in December, he ran a troubled second, beaten a nose to Lord Juban. He ran behind the undefeated Patrol, trained by Bill Mott, in a Belmont allowance June 9, and in the $50,000 Choice Stakes here June 23, he was a game second to Kris's Prayer.

Alphabetical, sent off at 3-5, sat right off the pacesetter in the 1 1/16-turf race Saturday, took the lead before the final turn, and charged home strongly in 1:41.56 to win by four lengths.

"He came out of the race perfect," said Seewald, who trains Alphabetical for Travin Stables. "The race didn't take much out of him. He needed an easy spot to get his confidence up."

Alphabetical's only poor race on the turf came in the Grade 3 Jersey Derby here May 27, a race in which he was very rank and finished ninth. Seewald said Alphabetical would make his next start in the $65,000 Lamplighter for 3-year-olds on the turf Aug. 4.

Wildcat Heir Saratoga-bound

Wildcat Heir, an impressive 2-year-old maiden winner here June 26, will make his next start in the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga July 25, trainer Ben Perkins Jr. said.

Perkins said the timing of the Sanford is good for the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga Aug. 31, the main goal for Wildcat Heir. Perkins also added that stablemate Max Forever, runner-up to Run Production in a maiden here July 7, will have one more race before aiming for the Grade 3 Sapling here Aug. 10.

Wildcat Heir logged his last major workout for the Sanford on Tuesday, working a quick five furlongs in 59.20, the second-best move of 11 at the distance. Wildcat Heir, owned by New Farm, is a full brother to stakes winners Forest Heir and Forest Heiress, as all are out of the sire-mare combination of Forest Wildcat and Penniless Heiress. In his debut, Wildcat Heir earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

Key Lory going to Battlefield next?

Key Lory, who was sidelined with a foot abscess that kept him out of the Grade 1 United Nations July 6, may make his next start in the Battlefield Stakes Aug. 4, Manning said.

After the United Nations, Manning mentioned the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga July 26 as a possible next start for the 8-year-old Key Lory, but Sunday he said the race would be very difficult to make with Key Lory still suffering from the abscess on his right front foot. He said they would instead look at the $65,000 Battlefield Stakes for Key Lory, who is undefeated in four turf starts. His last race was the Grade 3 Red Bank May 25.

"We'll tack a shoe on him today," Manning said Sunday. "I'll try and start him back easy. He's still very tender on the foot. If I do right by the horse, I won't make it [the Bernard Baruch]."

Pulled-up Kris's Prayer is fine

Kris's Prayer, who was pulled up in the $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs on Saturday, ripped off his frog in the race, but trainer Terri Pompay reported that he will be fine.

Kris's Prayer, winner of the Choice Stakes June 23 and second in the Grade 3 Jersey Derby, was pulled up on the final turn of the race. Pompay said Kris's Prayer, who arrived back at Monmouth on Monday, simply needs time for the injury to heal.

* The Thursday feature is a second-level turf allowance run at one mile. Since returning from a two-year layoff, 4-year-old Dimming has emerged as a different horse on the turf. He was highly thought of on the dirt as a 2-year-old, running third in the Rollicking Stakes at Laurel, but has returned to the races this year with two solid turf races. He will be a strong pace factor, breaking from the outside post in the field of nine.