08/09/2002 12:00AM

River Downs track report


Three years ago, Rhythmean, then a 3-year-old, beat his elders in the Buckeye Native Stakes at River Downs. On Sunday Rhythmean will attempt to win his second Buckeye Native, but this time he'll be the target of an up-and-coming 3-year-old.

The $45,000 Buckeye Native, for accredited Ohio-breds, will be contested at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Rhythmean has spent much of the last two seasons outside his home state, pursuing richer races in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Florida. Both his wins last year came at Mountaineer Park, including the Labor Day Handicap at one mile on turf.

Rhythmean was off from last fall until June 22, when he was beaten by less than a length in a Mountaineer allowance. He later finished third in an allowance there as the even-money favorite.

With his back class and prowess as a grass performer, Rhythmean will be tough to beat. Jeff Johnston will ride.

The 3-year-old Dinkers Millennium, who easily captured the Horizon Stakes by three lengths in his turf debut, would be the main threat if he runs. He was also entered in the North Randall Stakes at Thistledown on Saturday.

After a moderately successful 2-year-old campaign, Dinkers Millennium has made great strides at 3. After two comfortable allowance wins to start the year, Dinkers Millennium placed third in the Cleveland Gold Cup then won the Horizon. His ability to handle dirt may come in handy should this race be taken off the turf because of rain.

Another upset possibility is Nobody Knows, who has captured six of 12 starts this year, most of them starter allowances. Though he hasn't started on turf and has no recent stakes experience, he does own competitive Beyer Speed Figures.