08/28/2010 3:30PM

Dynaslew digs in to win Ballston Spa

Barbara D. Livingston
Dynaslew (center) wins the Grade 2 Ballston Spa over Silver Reunion (right)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Seth Benzel’s breakout meet hit a crescendo Saturday at Saratoga when Dynaslew overtook the pacesetting Silver Reunion outside the eighth pole, then outfinished that rival to the wire to win the Grade 2, $200,000 Ballston Spa Stakes by one-half length.

Silver Reunion, who broke through the gate before the start of the race and had to be reloaded, held second by one length over Miss Keller. Danzon, Scolara, Strike the Bell, Maram, Phola, Cherokee Queen, and Mekong Melody completed the order of finish.

The victory was the first Grade 2 stakes win for Benzel, who is 6 for 20 at this meet. The 35-year-old Benzel, a former assistant to Bill Mott and Todd Pletcher, went out on his own in 2008.

“You can’t ask to have a good meet in any other place than Saratoga, especially for a younger trainer,” Benzel said.

Charlotte Weber of Live Oak Plantation turned Dynaslew over to Benzel at the beginning of the year. Dynaslew, a 4-year-old daughter of Dynaformer formerly trained by Mott, won for the third time in five starts this year. She also won the Grade 3 Beaugay at Belmont in May.

Last out, she was beaten a neck when fourth in the Grade 1 Diana, a race in which she set the pace. Saturday, under Eibar Coa, Dynaslew sat second while Silver Reunion, under Rajiv Maragh, carved out fractions of 23.44 seconds, 47.54, and 1:11.15 for six furlongs. Coa sent Dynaslew after Silver Reunion approaching the quarter pole, collared her outside the eighth pole, and then was able to outkick her to the wire. Dynaslew covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.58 and returned $17.60 to win.

“It looked like on paper [Silver Reunion] wanted the lead, I felt our filly had that option – she wasn’t in a position where she had to have the lead in order to win,” Benzel said. “Luckily, it turned out exactly that way. We like to get her moving a little sooner than the rest, and Eibar did a great job of doing exactly that, and I think that made the difference.”

As did Dynaslew’s ability to relax off another horse in the early stages of the race.

“She relaxed for me pretty good, so that was good, and then in the stretch she just kept digging and digging, she never stopped running,” Coa said.