McDynamo again wins Cup 'chase

Long layoff, tough field no problem for '03 titlist

October 24, 2004|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

FAR HILLS, N.J. - Defending champion McDynamo became just the second horse in history to win back-to-back runnings of the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase when he defeated six rivals in the $175,000 Grade I stakes yesterday.

Ridden by Craig Thornton and trained by Sanna Hendriks, the winner took over the lead on the final run down the backstretch and repulsed 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, earning $96,250 in the richest jump race in the United States. Hirapour, with Matt McCarron aboard, was second. Sur La Tete, ridden by Chris Read, was a half-length back in third.

Racing for the first time in 11 months, McDynamo did not win by 15 lengths like he did last year, but was just as impressive in the race, which was being held for the 13th time.

"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," Hendriks said of the race that included seven Grade I winners.

McDynamo won for the sixth consecutive time and ninth time in 11 career starts. He pushed his career steeplechase bankroll to $562,679, which is fifth on the all-time list.

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