05/11/2003 11:00PM

Dynever oblivious to traffic trouble


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The additional time trainer Christophe Clement gave Dynever to develop mentally last year paid off Saturday when the lightly raced colt remained composed through a troubled trip to win the Grade 3, $500,000 Lone Star Derby.

Dynever, who was covered up by horses for most of the 1 1/8-mile race, showed racing savvy beyond his four career starts as he waited patiently in traffic under jockey Edgar Prado. When finally able to get outside of horses at about the eighth pole, Dynever did not hesitate, and confidently separated himself from the field with an explosive turn of foot. He won by 1 1/2 lengths over Grade 3 winner Most Feared.

With the victory, Dynever remained perfect in three starts around two turns. Clement said Dynever's next start will likely come in the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 7.

"This is a nice horse," said Prado after the race. "He handled this very well. He has been improving since the first time he ran. He has been showing a lot of courage and a lot of determination. Nothing was going to stop him. He was behind a wall of horses and he got through and just kept on going."

Clement chose not to race Dynever as a 2-year-old, giving him time to mature. He brought him out as a 3-year-old in February, and Dynever finished second in a seven-furlong maiden race at Gulfstream Park at 22-1.

From there, Dynever was moved to two turns, and he won his maiden by 8 1/4 lengths on March 8. Dynever then stepped into stakes company and won the $250,000 Aventura as the favorite with a strong stretch kick. After that race, which was at Gulfstream, he was pointed for the Lone Star Derby.

Clement chose the race for its timing. Instead of pointing Dynever, now based at Belmont Park, to the Grade 2, $200,000 Peter Pan there May 24, he chose the Lone Star Derby as a stepping-stone to the Belmont Stakes.

He said Dynever responds best when he has had at least four weeks between races, a pattern used throughout Dynever's four-race career. Dynever was scheduled to fly back to New York on Tuesday.

If he starts in the Belmont, he will be the third Lone Star Derby winner to advance to the race. Tahkodha Hills, who won the Lone Star Derby in 2000, and Wiseman's Ferry, who won the race last year, each finished ninth in the Belmont. Wiseman's Ferry went on to win the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby.

Lone speed horse in feature

Peaceful Place appears to be the controlling speed in the $30,000 eighth race Wednesday night, a one-mile optional claimer for fillies and mares. The race drew seven.

Peaceful Place will be stretching out from a fast six-furlong race in which she dueled through fractions of 21.60 seconds for the opening quarter and 44 for the half before finishing fourth, beaten three lengths by Meow, who has won five of her last six starts.

Since that race, Peaceful Place, who will be making her first two-turn start on dirt, worked a bullet five furlongs in 58.20 seconds on May 6. Eddie Martin Jr. has the mount for Everest Stables and trainer Dallas Keen.

* For the second time in a week, half-siblings won on the same card. Kalsem ($19.80) and Hadifson ($33.80), who are both out of the mare Lady Bidder, won Saturday. Last week That Tat and Tap Tap, both out of Oh Boy Valoy, won on the same day.