McDynamo Wins First Leg of Steeplechase Triple Crown

McDynamo remained perfect over jumps, winning Thursday's $102,141 Hard Scuffle Hurdle Stakes, the first race in the Steeplechase Triple Crown for novice hurdlers.

The son of Dynaformer won three of nine races on the flat, but has prospered since switching to steeplechase racing last fall. The Sanna Neilson trainee won his maiden race last October and had reeled off successive victories in two starts this year. The Hard Scuffle marked his stakes debut.

Under Craig Thornton, McDynamo tracked pacesetter Unalienable Right, assumed the lead when that one faded, then held off Najjm in the stretch to earn the 2 1/4-length win. He completed the 3 1/16 miles in 3:48 on yielding turf and earned $63,180 for owner Michael Moran. Richard Fox, Nathan Fox, and Richard Kaster bred the winner in Kentucky.

Second-place Najjm finished 11 1/4 lengths ahead of Miles Ahead. Ethical Actions came home fourth, followed by Understood, Sharp Face, Mr. Fater, and Unalienable Right.

McDynamo is a full brother of Generous Stakes winner Old Chapel. He paid $13.20 for the win and topped a $36.40 exacta. (Chart, Equibase)