09/10/2003 11:00PM

Legendary Weave needs to turn it around


POMONA, Calif. - The gelding Legendary Weave cooled off at the same time his trainer, Jack Carava, began to heat up. Saturday at Fairplex Park, handicappers will decide which is more important - the form cycle of the horse, or the hot streak of his stable.

A field of 10 entered the $50,000 Phil D. Shepherd Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race that represents a steep drop in class for Legendary Weave. The lineup includes veterans Truly a Judge, Dixie Law, Infinite Faith, Good Meeting, and High Tracks - not a graded-stakes runner in the bunch.

It is a fitting spot for Legendary Weave, who will try to reverse a form decline that was caused partly by his opposition. He ran his heart out and finished second to Sky Jack on July 5, and Carava said the race "took a lot out of him, more than I thought." In the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap next time, Legendary Weave finished sixth and came out of the race sour.

"He didn't train that well off that race," Carava said. "He's just started to pick it up the last couple weeks."

If six weeks between starts has re-energized Legendary Weave, the Shepherd is his. The 5 for 29 lifetime gelding is making his fifth start since Carava reclaimed him from Ed Moger in April, and his efforts in three previous starts - a win and two seconds at Hollywood Park - would be good enough to win Saturday and build on the momentum Carava picked up halfway through Del Mar.

"I had two meets," Carava said. "The first half was horrible and we won one race. The second half we won seven races."

Martin Pedroza, the all-time leading rider on the five-eighth-mile Fairplex track with 349 wins, rides Legendary Weave. Carava was concerned that Legendary Weave is not particularly fast on the turns when he works, but he raced creditably at Fairplex two years ago when he finished third in the Derby Trial, a prep for the Pomona Derby.

Frazier to ride in California

The jockey colony has a new addition: Ricky Frazier arrived Wednesday with plans to ride through the meet and remain in California for the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita. Frazier, 39, has ridden 2,490 winners from 20,485 starts and is represented by agent Ray Kravagna. Frazier also was the stunt double for Tobey McGuire in the movie "Seabiscuit."

On Saturday, Frazier rides horse-for-course Dixie Law in the Shepherd. Dixie Law has not raced since December but has won 3 of 4 at Fairplex.