Updated on 09/15/2011 1:35PM

Euchre could get trumped

Benoit & Associates
Euchre hasn't raced since a victory in July, and trainer Bobby Frankel conceded, "He might need the race."

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Bobby Frankel has won six stakes at the current Hollywood Park fall meeting, equaling the 1984 record set by the legendary Charlie Whittingham.

Bettors will be expecting a seventh from Frankel when Euchre starts as the favorite in Sunday's $100,000 Native Diver Handicap. But the trainer was not predicting victory on Friday when entries were drawn. "He might need the race," Frankel warned.

Unraced since winning the Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows in Iowa on July 7, Euchre has trained steadily in recent weeks. But in a 16-race career often interrupted by quarter cracks, Euchre does not have a strong record after lengthy layoffs.

Last May, in his first start in six months, Euchre could manage only fourth in the five-runner Mervyn LeRoy at Hollywood Park. Frankel is more focused on having Euchre, winner in three stakes in the last 18 months, ready for a 2002 campaign.

"Maybe next year will be his year," Frankel said.

Citing recent workouts, Frankel is optimistic Euchre can run well in the Grade 3 Native Diver, run over 1 1/8 miles.

The race has drawn seven runners, and Euchre is the only multiple stakes winner of 2001 in the field. The others represent a mix of stakes horses and allowance veterans stepping up.

Euchre's biggest danger comes from course specialist Grey Memo, who won the Ack Ack Handicap here last June, and Momentum, a 3-year-old who was a stakes winner in England before finishing second in the Bien Bien Stakes at Hollywood in his U.S. debut on Nov. 7.

Live longshots include Penamacor, who makes his first start on dirt since winning an allowance race at Del Mar in August, and Last Parade, an allowance race winner on Nov. 23.

Grey Memo, a closer, is capable of an upset. A 4-year-old trained by Warren Stute, Grey Memo was fourth against California-breds in the On Trust Handicap on Nov. 22, losing by three-quarters of a length.

"He didn't get beat bad, but he came from a long way out," Stute said. "You can't win them all the time. I'm not Bobby Frankel."

In the past, Grey Memo has won the 2000 On Trust and Snow Chief Stakes over this course. Matt Garcia rides for the first time since Grey Memo was second in the Pomona Invitational in September.