03/17/2003 12:00AM

Dynever on fast track to the top


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Dynever, one of the most talked about 3-year-old maiden winners in the country this winter, will waste little time getting tested for class when he makes his next start in the $250,000 Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream Park on April 5.

Dynever, a son of Dynaformer, is trained by Christophe Clement for owners Catherine Wills and Peter Karches. After a slow-starting, fast-finishing second behind another highly regarded 3-year-old prospect, Nacheezmo, in his career debut at seven furlongs on Feb. 8, Dynever stretched out around two turns a month later and delivered an eye-catching performance. Striding out powerfully through the stretch, Dynever scored an easy 8 1/4-length victory that earned him a 94 Beyer Speed Figure and the respect of horsemen and horseplayers alike.

"He is a very good horse," Clement said. "And he has continued to train very well since his last start. The Aventura will probably be next. I decided to go straight into a stakes instead of bringing him back in an allowance race because the purses for a one-other-than allowance race at Gulfstream are not enough."

Trust N Luck still Derby-bound

Despite his somewhat disappointing second-place finish behind Empire Maker in last Saturday's Florida Derby, trainer Ralph Ziadie intends to stick to his original plan and train Trust N Luck right into the Kentucky Derby.

"He came back from the race great," Ziadie said Monday. "A lot of people are trying to talk me out of running in the Derby. Instead, they want me to give him another race and then go to the Preakness, where the track is more suitable to his style. But as of now the Derby will be next."

Trust N Luck was pressed on the lead through extremely fast fractions in the Florida Derby before ultimately succumbing to Empire Maker through the stretch.

"He went a little fast but Cornelio [Velasquez] really had no choice after he broke so well from the one post," said Ziadie. "We weren't going to beat Empire Maker no matter what, but if we didn't have the rail, if we had an outside post, we would have chased Midway Cat instead of being on the lead. And unless we draw the rail again or there is absolutely no speed whatsoever in the race he won't be on the lead in the Kentucky Derby."

Blinkers possible for Indy Dancer

Trainer Todd Pletcher said he has been toying with the idea of putting blinkers on Indy Dancer to keep him from falling so far back during the early stages of his races. Indy Dancer dropped 25 lengths off the early pace in the Florida Derby before finishing well enough to be third, 10 1/4 lengths behind Empire Maker.

"I worked him in blinkers two works before the [Florida] Derby, and he did fine," said Pletcher. "Obviously he fell too far out of contention on Saturday but there is a fine line between letting him run the style he wants and taking him out of that style. Hopefully, there is a middle ground that will work. I'm not sure putting blinkers on will have that much effect, although it's something I will consider before his next race."

Pletcher said he is leaning toward the Wood at Aqueduct and not the Blue Grass at Keeneland for Indy Dancer's next start.

"The Wood is the more logical choice, since the Blue Grass would not be his kind of track," Pletcher said referring to the speed-conducive nature of the track at Keeneland.

Supah Blitz has mucus in lungs

Trainer Manny Tortora reports that Supah Blitz came out of the Florida Derby with some mucus in his lungs. Second in the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth, Supah Blitz finished a well-beaten fourth in the Florida Derby.

"He couldn't breathe normally because of the mucus, but it's something we can deal with," said Tortora. "I've got him nominated to four or five races coming up and we'll just wait and try to pick the easiest spot."

Chavez out several weeks

Jockey Jorge Chavez said he expected to be out of action at least three weeks as a result of the spill he took when Midway Cat broke down during the running of the Florida Derby.

"Nothing's broke, but I'm sore all over my body, especially in my back, and I can't move that much," Chavez said. "I had hoped to be able to fly to New York [Monday] but the doctors want me to stay around and have an MRI done on my back Tuesday for precautionary reasons."

Chavez said he doesn't recall much of what transpired before or after the incident.

"I don't know what happened," said Chavez. "The horse went down so quick, I hit the ground and passed out."

Once released by his doctors in Florida, Chavez said he plans to return to New York and rest for "at least two to three weeks" before thinking about returning to riding.

"I won't ride again until I'm 100 percent," said Chavez.

Changes for Senor Swinger

Trainer Mickey Goldfine said he expects to make a change of equipment and rider for Senor Swinger, who finished a distant fifth in the Florida Derby. It was Senor Swinger's first loss after two wins to begin his career.

Goldfine said he believes Senor Swinger flipped his palate during the running of the race and said he plans to change bits on the colt. Goldfine had been using a figure-eight bridle and "Serena's Song'' bit. Now, he will use a regular D bit, and a tongue-tie.

Additionally, Goldfine said he was puzzled why jockey Edgar Prado moved so soon on the colt.

"I didn't think he got a good ride,'' Goldfine said. "I don't jockey bash and I'm not going to start with Edgar, but why was he placed into a drive at the five-eighths pole? I don't understand that. It makes no sense to me.''

Goldfine said Senor Swinger came out of the race with a scratch on his left eye, but did not believe it to be serious. Provided the horse trains well when he returns to the track later this week, Goldfine will point him to the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne on April 5.

Velasquez to try Kentucky, New York

Cornelio Velasquez, who is part of a three-way duel for this meet's leading rider, will move his tack to Kentucky beginning with the opening of the Keeneland meet, jockey agent Richard DePass said.

According to DePass, Velasquez will ride at Keeneland and then Churchill before heading to New York for the Saratoga meet.

Velasquez, who is one of the finest finishers in the Gulfstream colony, was tied with Eibar Coa with 65 wins through Sunday. Both trailed John Velazquez, who had 68 wins but who was expected back in Florida only to ride selected stakes.

Coa had previously announced that he was moving his tack to New York beginning in April.

Derby Day downer

Saturday's crowd of 24,055 was the smallest Florida Derby Day crowd since 1974 when 23,908 saw Judger defeat stablemate Cannonade.

The total handle of $19,558,413 was the smallest since 1999.

Last year, when Harlan's Holiday won, the attendance was 30,000 and the total handle was $21,679,292.

Purse increase starts Saturday

Despite the poor Derby numbers, Gulfstream officials announced Sunday that purses for all races would be increased by $2,000 each, effective Saturday.

"`The purse increases are made possible by the excellent wagering on Gulfstream's racing programs,'' said Scott Savin, Gulfstream's president and general manager. "The purse increase is the second since our Jan. 3 opening.''

- additional reporting by David Grening