McDynamo Repeats in Breeders' Cup 'Chase

McDynamo Repeats in Breeders' Cup 'Chase
Photo: Skip Dickstein
McDynamo takes second Breeders' Cup Steeplechase in a row.
(from NSA report)
Defending champion McDynamo became just the second horse in history to win back-to-back runnings of the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) when he scorched six rivals in the $175,000 event Saturday before a sold-out crowd of 50,000 at Moorland Farms race course in Far Hills, N.J.

Ridden by Craig Thornton and trained by Sanna Hendriks, the winner took over the lead on the final run down the backstretch and repulsed late challenges by Hirapour and Sur La Tete to win by 1 1/2 lengths. McDynamo covered the 2 5/8 miles and 14 fences in 5:06 4/5 while earning $96,250 in the richest jump race in the United States. Hirapour (Matt McCarron) was second with Sur La Tete (Chris Read) a half-length back in third.

Racing for the first time in 11 months, McDynamo did not win by the 15 lengths he did last year, but was impressive notheless in the 13th running of the race.

"I thought if he was ever going to get beat, it would be today because of the layoff and because of the field he was up against," said Hendriks, noting there were seven Grade I winners. "I was confident because it was him and I knew he would do the best that he could, but I knew he was going to need the race. He was unbelievable."

McDynamo tracked leaders Tres Touche and Flat Top throughout, but moved to the front at will midway down the backstretch. Sur La Tete moved first and was quickly matched by Hirapour and both horses ranged up at the top of the stretch but were no match for the winner.

"He had to dig a little deep after the last fence, but he hadn't run in so long that I think he'll improve off that run," said Thornton, who flew in from New Zealand for the ride. "My horse just jumped past them on the backside. He can hear the other horses and quickens on his own. I sensed Hirapour was fairly close (on the final turn), but I was holding my horse together and still had some horse. He's got so much confidence in his ability. He's a monster, and he knows it."

McDynamo (a Keeneland Sales yearling purchase by Moran) won for the sixth consecutive time and ninth time in 11 career starts. He pushed his career jump bankroll to $562,679 – fifth on the all-time list. Champion steeplechaser of 2004, the 7-year-old son of Dynaformer put himself in position to win the title again. He will go next in the $100,000 Colonial Cup (NSA-I) at Camden, S.C., on Nov. 21.

English champion Morley Street last won back-to-back Breeders' Cups in 1990 and 1991. The other horse to win two was Highland Bud in 1989 and 1992.

In other grade I action, Ann Stern's Paradise's Boss (Tom Foley) won the $100,000 Foxbrook novice hurdle stakes for trainer Jack Fisher.

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