06/04/2003 11:00PM

Belmont Stakes Profiles: Dynever


STRENGTHS: He hasn't had to endure the trials and tribulations of the Triple Crown, and he is fresher than most of his rivals. Considering Belmont's grueling distance of 12 furlongs, that is key. Of course, no matter how well rested a horse is, if he can't get the distance in the first place then trip, pace, and raw ability mean little. Dynever is bred to run all day, so distance should not be a problem. This colt has been visually impressive in his last three races, including his Lone Star Derby effort, where he encountered traffic problems. Connections are top-notch, including trainer Christophe Clement, who has been pointing Dynever to this race since his Aventura win April 5.

WEAKNESSES: He hasn't been tested for class. Of the horses in the field, he and Supervisor have yet to face Grade 1 competition. His lack of tactical speed could result in others getting a more favorable trip, including Funny Cide and possibly Empire Maker. He has been shod with "spider" shoes as a precaution. Earlier this week, Clement said: "He was shod 10 or 12 days ago. When we took the shoes off, there was a reddish spot on the toe of his left front. So, we put the spider shoes on. It is safer before you get a problem to anticipate it." Dynever was scheduled to be re-shod with conventional racing shoes on Friday.

STRATEGY: He's a closer with an excellent turn of foot, which will enable him to make his charge around the far turn and negate to some extent the pace advantage the stalkers hold.

VALUE: He figures to be third choice in the wagering. With his hoof problems, his price figures to improve, much like Empire Maker's price in the Kentucky Derby. If you believe that his hoof problems have not compromised his training, then Dynever offers the best betting value in the race. That's an awfully big if, though.