08/10/2002 12:00AM

Manning's patience pays off

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - After Valid Video won his maiden June 14, earning a 95 Beyer Speed Figure, trainer Dennis Manning said he would rest him until the Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth Park. Each time he was asked about his standout 2-year-old leading up to the race, Manning would knock on the closest piece of wood and say that everything was going according to plan.

Manning's patience was rewarded Saturday when Valid Video won the $100,000 Sapling in his second career start. He set blistering fractions and put away Farno with a furlong remaining to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Boston Park was third.

Valid Video ($5.80) broke a bit slowly out of the gate under Chuck Lopez, but rushed up to the lead on the rail and never relinquished that spot. After setting fractions of 21.39 seconds, 44.45, and 56.90 on the lead, with Farno pressing one length behind, Valid Video lengthened his lead at the quarter pole and then kicked clear at the top of the lane. He was timed in 1:09.99 for six furlongs.

Valid Video, a $27,000 weanling purchase, got sick after his debut, in which he covered five furlongs in 57.11 - the fastest of the meet - but thrived with the time off and had been working well leading up to the Sapling.

"I love it when a plan comes together," Manning said. "I had the Sapling in mind before he even started the first time. This is a nice horse, and he was maybe 80 percent of what he can be today."

Manning said the Futurity at Belmont Park on Sept. 15 could be Valid Video's next start.

* Twilights Prayer ($16.20) wore down Willie's Luv with a sixteenth of a mile remaining to win the $50,000 Spruce Fir Handicap for statebreds at one mile on the turf.