11/16/2001 12:00AM

Manndar scheduled for ankle surgery

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Manndar, who fractured the sesamoid bones in his left front ankle in a workout at Hollywood Park on Thursday morning, is scheduled to have surgery to fuse the joint on Monday, according to Manndar's trainer, Beau Greely.

"It will be fused together. Some screws will be put in," Greely said.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. C. Wayne McIlwraith, one of the nation's most respected surgeons, at his clinic in Cypress, Calif. "We're lucky that he's in town this week," Greely said.

Manndar, a two-time Grade 1 winner in 2000, broke down just as he was concluding his workout, which was in preparation for a scheduled start in next week's Grade 2, $500,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park. He was immediately fitted with a brace, similar to one affixed to Mazel Trick after he broke down in the summer of 1999 at Del Mar. Mazel Trick is now at stud at Airdrie Stud in Kentucky. Greely said he hopes Manndar, a 5-year-old, can be saved for stud duty, too.

"He did well from yesterday to today," Greely said at his barn Friday morning. "He's a smart horse. He ate all his feed last night. He's even been laying down a little, which is good, because one of the concerns we have is that he might founder in his right front leg, the good leg."

Ponche de Leona, formerly of Florida

Ponce de Leon went to Florida, seeking the Fountain of Youth. Trainer Christopher Paasch went to Florida, seeking Ponche de Leona for 74-year-old Charley Cono, an owner who appears ready to make a big splash with Paasch.

Cono and his wife, Karen, are Del Mar residents who own thousands of apartments in and around San Diego. With Ponche de Leona, they are seeking a victory in Sunday's $100,000 Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park.

"I met him this summer at Del Mar. He said he wanted to have some fun," Paasch said. "Another of my owners introduced him to me. He saw me with Kamsack and Roman Dancer," a pair of 2-year-olds who ran well this summer at Del Mar.

"He's a real gentleman," Paasch said. "He was in Standardbreds before, but he had some real bad experiences. He said he wanted to get into this the right way.

"He gave me a check for $200,000 and said, 'Will this do?' " Paasch said, smiling.

Ponche De Leona has won four of five starts. She began her career in Florida, and won the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting after Paasch acquired her.

Paasch, who had been splitting time between northern and Southern California since stabling at Del Mar in the summer of 2000, said he has closed up shop up north and now is based solely in Southern California, where he has 37 horses. "We're here to stay," said Paasch, who trains with his wife, Bonnie Lord.

Delahoussaye files grievance

Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye had to sit out three days, through Friday, after being suspended by the stewards after a disqualification on Nov. 7, and though Delahoussaye chose not to appeal the ruling, he is not letting the matter go quietly.

Delahoussaye this past week filed a grievance with the California Horse Racing Board over the stewards' decision. Delahoussaye said he was upset that the stewards, in his mind, were inconsistent in meting out punishment.

In the fifth race on Nov. 7, both Martel, ridden by Delahoussaye, and Tavasco, ridden by Mike Smith, were disqualified. However, only Delahoussaye received a suspension.

"He came in more than I did," Delahoussaye said. "I've got to speak up. I've been out here 27 years, and I've never seen anything like this. I'm just trying to do something to help the game."

Delahoussaye said he had already spoken with Roy Wood, the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board. According to Delahoussaye, Wood said he would speak with the stewards. Delahoussaye said he understood that Mike Kilpack, the CHRB's Southern California investigator, would investigate. Kilpack did not return a call seeking comment on Friday.

* Grey Memo, who is scheduled to defend his title in Thursday's $100,000 On Trust Handicap for California-breds, worked six furlongs in 1:14.60 on Friday morning at Hollywood Park for trainer Warren Stute.

* A memorial service will be held Monday for Anita Capitumini, a popular racetrack employee who died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Services, beginning at 1 p.m., will be held at Live Oak Memorial Park Chapel, 200 E. Duarte Rd. in Monrovia.