A 10-year-old gelding by Dynaformer, McDynamo also won the 2 3/4-mile event in 2003, and a fourth victory will likely earn him yet another Eclipse Award as champion steeplechaser. McDynamo won the award in 2003, 2005 and 2006.
Trained by Sanna Hendriks, McDynamo has raced just twice in 2007. The most recent start was a six-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Grand National Steeplechase (NSA-I) last month at Fair Hills in New Jersey, his unprecedented fifth straight triumph in the prestigious event.
McDynamo also started May 12 in the Iroquois Steeplechase (NSA-I), but tired badly and was beaten 28 1/2 lengths by Good Night Shirt, who figures to be the main competition in the Colonial Cup.
Out of the Monteverdi mare Rondonia, McDynamo has won 17 of 33 lifetime starts and has earned $1,350,494. Bred in Kentucky by Richard Fox, Nathan Fox and Richard Kaster, he is undoubtedly the steeplechaser of the decade and must be considered one of the best of all-time.
“He would have to be considered one of the best ever if he won another (Colonial Cup), if he’s not already,” Hendriks said. “It would be huge to win another. It’s a wonderful track and great race.
“He seems to be training well. We’ve had him foxhunting three times between the Breeders’ Cup and the Colonial Cup and he had a good work on Monday. Physically and mentally he seems great,” Hendriks continued.
McDynamo's trainer also said he would likely run as an 11-year-old, but only if he came out of the Colonial Cup in good order and probably only for a fall campaign.
“I doubt we would do a spring campaign,” Hendriks said. “But if we have him fit and foxhunt him, it’s a distinct possibility that he would run again in the fall. We’d like to retire him at the top of his game. His Breeders’ Cup performance was pretty impressive, so I think he’s still there.”
McDynamo will get regular jockey Jody Petty and leave from post 4.
Harold Via Jr.’s Good Night Shirt is a 6-year-old gelding by Concern. He has won seven of 25 career starts, including two of four this year. After the dominant Iroquois victory, Good Night shirt took the Sept. 20 Lonesome Glory Steeplechase (NSA-I) at Belmont by a length.
Despite soundly defeating McDynamo in the Iroquois, Good Night Shirt was a distant fourth to the champion Oct. 20 in the Breeders’ Cup, his most recent start. Leading all North American steeplechasers in earnings this season with $224,163, Good Night Shirt will leave from post 3 with William Dowling aboard.
The only other contender with a grade I victory this year is New Zealand-bred Gliding, a 7-year-old by Lord Ballina. Gliding is two-for-eight in 2007, including a 2 1/4-length score in the Oct. 20 Foxbrook Stakes (NSA-I) at Fair Hills.
All nine will carry 156 pounds in the Colonial Cup, which was first run in 1970.
$150,000 Colonial Cup (gr. I, Hurdle Stakes, Race 5), Four-Year-Olds & Up, 2 3/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1a. Luongo, 156, Miller
2b. Gliding (NZ), 156, Young
3. Good Night Shirt, 156, Dowling
4. McDynamo, 156, Petty
5a. Sovereign Duty, 156, Aizpuru
6a. Three Carat, 156, Hodsdon
7. Four Schools (IRE), 156, Horner
8b. Orison, 156, McCarron
9a. Underbidder, 156, Slater