Updated on 09/17/2011 6:42PM

Balto Star holds off Dynever at Meadowlands

A determined Balto Star holds off the late charge of Dynever to win the Grade 2, $500,000 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Stakes by a half-length at The Meadowlands on Friday night.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Balto Star presented trainer Todd Pletcher with an interesting decision following his victory Friday night in the Grade 2, $500,000 at The Meadowlands Racetrack.

With the Breeders' Cup looming on Oct. 30, Pletcher could elect to keep Balto Star on the dirt for the $4 million Classic. The Meadowlands Cup, his first run on the main track in over a year, was a compelling argument for that course of action. On the other hand, Balto Star is a Grade 1 winner on the grass - making the $2 million Turf a viable option.

"We might cross-enter in both and take a look," said Pletcher. "The last time we went dirt to turf, he won the [Grade 1)] United Nations. We're thinking he'll like the Lone Star turf course. That will probably be our first choice, but we'll play it by ear."

Balto Star ($14) was ridden by John Velazquez who kept the 6-year-old in a stalking position behind the pacesetting Unforgettable Max. Balto Star took the lead entering the final turn and opened up by 1 1/2 lengths at the top of lane.

Dynever, making his first start since finishing sixth in the Suburban Handicap on July 3, picked his way through traffic on the turn and came flying through the stretch.

A resolute Balto Star dug in to hold off the hard-charging Dynever by a half length.

"I expected Dynever to come at me," said Velazquez who won his third Cup, one behind Angel Cordero, Jr's stakes record.

Balto Star ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.68 to record his first win in five starts this year. Gygistar was third.

The Cup rally should nicely set up Dynever for the Classic where he gains an additional furlong.

"We took our shot tonight," said jockey Corey Nakatani. "Obviously, it's the Breeders' Cup we're most concerned about. He ran a great race, but it's not enough distance for him to get there."

Dynever ran second in last year's Meadowlands Cup and went on to finish third in the Classic.

"As long as he comes out of the race in good shape, we'll go on to the Breeders' Cup Classic," said trainer Christophe Clement.

Preciado entry one-two

Manofglory ($13.80) squeezed out a narrow victory in the first of two divisions of the $60,000 My Frenchman Stakes Friday night on the Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Stakes undercard.

Manofglory, ridden by Eibar Coa, prevailed by a nose while Cumby Texas, his stablemate, finished in a dead heat for second with Rudirudy. The entry is trained by Guadalupe Preciado.

"It couldn't have worked out any better," said Preciado. "They both ran great races."

Manofglory ran the five furlongs on the turf in 56.18 seconds.

Worldwind Romance ($7.60) took the other division.

Pletcher, Mott, win Paterson divisions

The Paterson for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf was also split into a pair of $60,000 divisions. Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won The Meadowlands Cup with Balto Star, scooped up another stakes win with Forest Grove ($8.20) in the first division.

Grand Heritage ($6.20), trained by Bill Mott, took the other.

Upturn wins Wheeler

Upturn ($4.00) won a second straight New

Jersey-bred handicap as he beat Trueamericanspirit by 1 1/4 lengths in the $60,000 Bill Wheeler Handicap. Coa was aboard for his third winner of the night.