08/30/2003 12:00AM

Dynever standout on latest Beyer


The 114 Beyer Speed Figure Dynever earned for finishing a neck behind the unbeaten Soto in the West Virginia Derby is far superior to any Beyer the nine 3-year-olds he faces in Monday's $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park have ever achieved. It's also more than 10 points higher than Dynever's previous best.

Handicappers have a right to be skeptical about Dynever's big number, especially since the main track at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 9 was so fast that three track records were broken.

Before deciding whether Dynever, the morning line favorite at 2-1, is likely to regress or pair up his exceptional Beyer in the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Derby, horseplayers might like to know how other horses on the West Virginia Derby card have since fared.

Few horses have come back to run within the past three weeks, but a small sampling indicates the high Beyers and fast times throughout the Aug. 9 card were indeed strong races.

* In the Cups, who finished third behind Baby Shark's track-record performance in the 4 1/2-furlong West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup Handicap, got a 92. He came back to win a two-other-than allowance at Delaware Park with a 91.

- Frankie R's Winner, fourth in the Harvey Arneault Memorial with an 80 Beyer, returned to run second in a $40,000 claiming race while improving to an 87.

- Storm Cave, fourth in a nonwinners-of-three allowance with a 62 Beyer,

came back to improve to a 69 when stretching out from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles in a conditioned claimer.

The evidence suggests Dynever's 114 is legitimate. Whether he's capable of another big effort just three weeks later or if the possibility of a wet track will hurt his chances, however, is another story.

The forecast for Philadelphia calls for the likelihood of rain Sunday night and Monday. Dynever's lone start in the slop resulted in a distant fourth to Empire Maker in the Belmont Stakes.

The most intriguing contenders behind Dynever are former 2-year-old sensation Toccet and the undefeated Grand Hombre, whose Beyers have risen in each of his three starts.

Toccet won four graded stakes last fall during a season in which he was 6 for 8. But he has spent almost all of this year recuperating from an injury. His only prep came two weeks ago, when he beat four horses in an overnight stakes, earning a 102 Beyer.

Grand Hombre makes his first stakes appearance after beating older horses twice going two turns at Monmouth with Beyers of 103 and 106.