Trainer Christophe Clement's decision to ship Dynever to Santa Anita for the 4-year-old colt's 2004 debut turned out to be a good one when the son of Dynaformer
romped to victory in the $110,600 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. III) Saturday.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, the 4-5 favorite in the field of seven won by 4 1/2 lengths over Total Impact in a time of 1:48 for the 1 1/8-mile main test for older horses. Even the Score finished third, 6 1/2 lengths behind the winner.
Clement was ready to enter Dynever in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) Saturday, but balked at the 1 1/4-mile distance for the colt's first race since the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) in October. He was also unhappy with the 119 pounds assigned in Florida.
He carried 117 in the San Bernardino, where the weight spread was no more than three pounds.
"Thank God Christophe Clement called an audible," Nakatani said. "We wanted to ride him and we told him we'd go anywhere in the country to ride him. He's awesome."
Dynever was in the middle of the pack early while saving ground, tracking fractions of :23 3/5, :47 1/5 and 1:11 2/5 set by Ender's Shadow. Nakatani angled him out on the turn and bid three deep to collar the pacesetter and Total Impact, taking control at the head of the stretch. He easily pulled away from there.
Dynever, who was third in the Breeders' Cup Classic last year and won the Aventura and Lone Star Derby (gr. III), has a career line of 4-3-1 in 10 lifetime starts. He earned $66,360 to up his career purse total to $1,220,380.
He paid $3.20, $2.80 and $2.40. Total Impact returned $8 and $4.40. Even the Score's show was $4. The $2 exacta was worth $29.20.