12/04/2001 1:00AM

Euchre nears comeback in Native Diver

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Euchre was part of the first wave of horses who, beginning in early July, began trainer Bobby Frankel's stakes-winning march to a likely Eclipse Award as champion trainer this year. Euchre has been idle since his victory July 7 in the Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows, but he is making his return in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Euchre was assigned top weight of 121 pounds for the 1 1/8-mile Native Diver, which could draw as few as seven and as many as nine horses. As of Tuesday morning, the others scheduled to run in the race were Grey Memo, Last Parade, Madraar, Momentum, Penamacor, and Spicy Stuff, with both Pie N Burger and Stormin' Heaven possible.

Momentum was supplemented to the Native Diver for $5,000. He will be racing on the dirt for the first time. His trainer, Craig Dollase, had wanted to run Momentum on the dirt last weekend, but predicted rain did not arrive in time on Sunday to move Momentum's race from the turf, so Momentum was scratched.

Garrett Gomez is scheduled to ride Euchre. Frankel said Euchre has not raced since July because he has suffered from quarter cracks, but Frankel has been pleased with the way Euchre has trained recently. He worked five furlongs on Sunday in company with Milwaukee Brew, according to Frankel. Both were timed in 1:00.40.

Neither work was listed on Sunday's tab, but both were an addendum to Monday's tab. A number of workouts from Frankel's horses have not made the work tab this meet. Frankel has an ongoing feud with the clockers here. "I don't call them. They hung up on me once," Frankel said.

Drysdale double-team

Trainer Neil Drysdale is scheduled to send out two runners, including topweighted Keemoon, in Saturday's $70,000-added Waya Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf for older fillies and mares.

Keemoon, who will be ridden by Gary Stevens, was assigned 124 pounds for the Waya, which she won last year. Keemoon could face as few as five and as many as seven rivals, including stablemate Built to Last, a Brazilian import who will be ridden by Victor Espinoza in her United States debut.

Others expected for the Waya are Boismorand, Gleefully, Nepenthe, and The Parting Glass. Possible are Catz and Nashoba.

Stevens changes agents again

When Santa Anita's meeting opens on Dec. 26, jockey Gary Stevens will have his fourth agent since returning to action 14 months ago. Brian Beach on Tuesday reported that he will be taking over as Stevens's agent, replacing Tony Matos.

Stevens was first represented by Bob Meldahl when he returned last year after a nine-month retirement. He then retained former jockey Corey Black. Matos had been his agent for most of this year, when Stevens's major victories included the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes with Point Given, the leading contender for Horse of the Year.

Beach also represents jockey Mike Smith, who is Stevens's best friend.

"Gary and Mike have been great friends for 15 or 20 years," Beach said. "But it never worked out before for them to have the same agent. You've got to be good friends to share an agent and have it work out."

Heavyweight Champ back in training

Heavyweight Champ, who disappointed in his West Coast debut in last month's Hollywood Prevue Stakes, has returned to training after missing two weeks to recover from an illness.

His trainer, John Terranova, said Heavyweight Champ was examined with an endoscope after the Prevue, and was found to have mucus in his respiratory system.

"There were gobs of mucus dripping off the scope," Terranova said Tuesday. "He's only gone back to the track the last couple of days."

Terranova said Heavyweight Champ would remain in California this winter and would be pointed for sprint stakes at Santa Anita, perhaps beginning with the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes in February.

Manndar recuperating well

It has been two weeks since Manndar suffered a career-ending injury in a workout on the turf course at Hollywood Park, but the Grade 1-winning turf horse is recovering well from surgery to repair fractured sesamoid bones, trainer Beau Greely said.

"He should be able to be bred next spring," Greely said. "We got pretty damn lucky."

Manndar, resting in Greely's barn at Hollywood Park, will be sent to his family's Wintergreen Farm in Kentucky later this month, Greely said. The trainer said Manndar is being shopped as a stallion prospect, and he expects the horse to end up in Europe because of his turf pedigree.

"He'd get better mares over there," Greely said.

* Yonaguska, preparing for the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on Santa Anita's opening day Dec. 26, worked four furlongs in 47.40 seconds on Tuesday at Santa Anita.

* Timboroa, who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Turf, had surgery on Tuesday to remove ankle chips and will be out for four months, according to his trainer, Frankel.

* The Drysdale-trained White Heart, eighth in the recent Japan Cup, has continued straight on to Hong Kong for the International races later this month.