02/15/2007 12:00AM

Buddy' Got Even relishes Polytrack


Buddy Got Even seemingly has the least amount of speed of the 11 horses entered in Saturday's $50,000 Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park. He is also inexperienced running two turns, having made all six of his main-track starts in sprints.

None of that is likely to matter much to bettors. On the basis of his 4-for-5 record on Polytrack, Buddy Got Even looms the likely favorite in the one-mile Dust Commander.

A 5-year-old son of Stephen Got Even owned by Stan Fulton, Buddy Got Even has blossomed competing over the synthetic footing, which trainer Becky Maker said is a result of him getting healthy after being bothered by hind-end problems and feet issues earlier in his career.

His four wins on Polytrack, racing at both Keeneland and Turfway, have come by an average margin of more than three lengths. Beyond the ease of his victories, Buddy Got Even has done things on the surface that most horses simply can't do - such as rally to victory from 18 lengths off the pace, as he did in winning the 6 1/2-furlong Forego Stakes at Turfway on Jan. 27 under Alonso Quinonez, his regular rider locally.

Even stretching out to a route, Buddy Got Even is expected to be far back early.

The fact that the Dust Commander drew a legitimate amount of speed should work in Buddy Got Even's favor. Holy City, Skeleton Crew, Recognition, King of Speed, and Tolhwin Type regularly race on or near the pace.

Maker expects Buddy Got Even - who was unplaced in turf races in his only two route tries - to handle racing a longer distance on Polytrack. In his recent sprint victories, "he was just hitting his stride at the wire," she said.

Dynareign also figures prominently. A longtime turf horse, he showed an ability to handle Polytrack in winning an allowance at Turfway on Dec. 30, a race that marked his first win in a year.

Although yet to win a stakes race, Dynareign has run well in tough company, most notably finishing second in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Breeders' Cup at Sam Houston last April.

Wayzata Bay, a two-time stakes winner last summer at Prairie Meadows, may also contend.