11/26/2004 12:00AM

Dynever makes a surprise appearance


MIAMI - Trainers entering their horses in a $40,000 overnight stakes at Calder on the last weekend of November wouldn't normally expect the opposition to include a member of the Breeders' Cup Classic field. But such will be the case here Sunday, when Dynever starts in the 1 1/16-mile Mel's Hope Stakes.

Adding insult to injury for Dynever's eight seemingly outclassed rivals is that the race will be run under allowance conditions. That means Dynever receives a seven-pound weight concession from Super Frolic and will give weight only to the field's lone 3-year-old member, Nightmare Affair.

Dynever, under Corey Nakatani, was forced to race very wide and made a premature, mid-race run after breaking from post 13 in the Classic. He got within two lengths of Ghostzapper around the second turn before flattening out and finishing eighth, nearly 13 lengths behind the winner.

"His post position was awful in the Breeders' Cup, and as a result Nakatani gave him a very aggressive ride," said trainer Christophe Clement. "He made a huge move around the turn but flattened out through the stretch. I was expecting the horse to race at the back of the pack and make one late run, but Nakatani was concerned about the short stretch at Lone Star - although I believe no matter the circumstances you can't change a horse's running style."

Dynever shipped from Texas to his winter home at Payson Park immediately after the Breeders' Cup and has worked twice in preparation for his return.

"He's doing well, training good, and is a very fresh horse, having only started twice since early this summer," said Clement. "The horse has not won a race since the spring, and it would be nice to have him win one before we get into the Gulfstream meeting this winter. Everything is a go for Sunday pending the final approval of the owners."

Dynever, who is owned by the partnership of Catherine Wills and Peter Karches, could have a busy schedule this winter. Clement has tentatively mapped out an itinerary that would include three handicaps: the Hal's Hope, a Grade 3 race Jan. 8; the Donn, a Grade 1 race Feb. 5; and Gulfstream Park, a Grade 2 race March 6.

Dynever has been on the verge of stardom ever since he launched his career at Gulfstream during the winter of 2003. He capped off his 3-year-old campaign that season with a third-place finish behind Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d'Oro in the Breeders' Cup Classic and opened this season with an easy victory in Santa Anita's Grade 3 San Bernadino Handicap. He has since gone winless in five starts, but did finish second, beaten a half-length, in both the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap and Meadowlands' Breeders' Cup.

Before Dynever's hat got tossed in the ring, the Mel's Hope looked like a perfect spot for Super Frolic to get back on the winning track for the first time since July 18. Super Frolic, whose last victory came in the Best of the Rest Stakes, was beaten a head by Built Up in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck Handicap on Oct. 23.

Top locals close to returns

Two of the most prominent horses stabled at Calder worked Friday and should be back in the entries before long.

Caller One, one of the world's premier sprinters in 2000 and 2001, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 shortly after sunrise, and Second of June went a mile in 1:43.80 not long after the renovation break.

Caller One has made just one start since the spring of 2002, finishing third in the two-furlong Rocket Man Stakes here July 10. Second of June, who started slow and finished strong in Friday's mile trial, has been idle since his second-place finish in Gulfstream's Fountain of Youth Stakes in February.

D'Wildcat Speed hasn't lost a step

D'Wildcat Speed returned from a lengthy layoff of her own to dominate Thursday's $40,000 Pocahontas Stakes by 8 1/4 lengths. Away since her second-place finish in Gulfstream's Banshee Breeze Handicap on April 4, D'Wildcat Speed was razor sharp for the 6 1/2-furlong Pocahontas, stalking and putting away pacesetter Kuanyan before drawing off to an easy victory.

The win was the first in three U.S. starts for D'Wildcat Speed, who had dominated her division in Puerto Rico in 2003. D'Wildcat Speed is trained by Bill White for her breeder, P R Speed Inc.