MacDynamo makes a laugher out of BC Grand National at Far Hills.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

MacDynamo makes a laugher out of BC Grand National at Far Hills.
Order This Photo

Skip Dickstein

McDynamo 22-Length Winner of BC 'Chase

(from NSA release)
Star steeplechaser McDynamo captured a fourth consecutive Breeders' Cup Grand National (NSA-I) Saturday at the Far Hills Races, leaping past Hall of Famer Lonesome Glory atop American steeplechasing's career earnings list in the process.

The 21-furlong race turned into a laugher when McDynamo amd rider Jody Petty powered past early leader Mauritania on the final run down the backstretch. Quickly five lengths in front, the 9-year-old stayed in front of Chivite around the final turn and won by 22 lengths in 5:58 1/5 over soft turf. Mixed Up finished a distant third, followed by Mauritania in fourth and Kilbeggan Lad, who did not complete the course.

At $250,000, the Breeders' Cup stands as the richest steeplechase in North America but might soon be known as McDynamo's personal playground. The Kentucky-bred son of Dynaformer won the race for the fourth straight time and improved to 6-for-6 over the Far Hills course, site of his maiden win in 2001. Trained in Pennsylvania by Sanna Hendriks, McDynamo always looked the part of a good horse but had people talking legends Saturday.

"He does things so easily, it's weird," said Hendriks. "He doesn't look like he's working hard at all, and other horses struggle, especially in going like this. I guess that's what greatness is – it's horses who can put it all together that become this good. They have the right mind, the right body, the right everything. That's what sets McDynamo, Lonesome Glory, and the others over time apart."

An $82,000 Keeneland yearling purchase, McDynamo won twice on the flat before switching to jumps in 2001. Since then, he's won 13 of 21 starts and $1,028,104 and looks poised to add a 2006 Eclipse Award to his championships won in 2003 and 2005. Next up would be the Colonial Cup (NSA-I) Nov. 19 in Camden, S.C., where he will likely meet Hirapour – a late scratch at Far Hills due to the soft turf.

For Petty, the race grew easier as it went along. Mauritania set a mild early pace, but wilted when the champion applied pressure on the backstretch. Quickly in front, McDynamo powered over the three fences on the backstretch and drew clear of long shot Chivite on the final turn. From there, it was a coronation as Petty patted the horse on the neck and ears through the stretch.

"Mauritania looked like he was getting a little tired, so I figured we should go on," said the jockey. "McDynamo just opened up his stride and went to the front. Then on the turn, I figured they were close to me. When I looked, we were so far in front I had to look again. He gets there so easily it amazes you."