06/25/2004 12:00AM

Dynever tunes up for Suburban


ELMONT, N.Y. - Dynever, in what will be his only breeze between the Brooklyn and Suburban handicaps, worked a bullet half-mile on Friday at Belmont Park.

With exercise rider Christophe Lorieul in the saddle, Dynever was timed in 48.26 seconds, the fastest of 22 works at the distance. The work took place before the renovation break on the main track, which was listed as fast. The Belmont clockers timed Dynever galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.90.

Dynever's trainer, Christophe Clement, has decided to work the colt only once before next Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Suburban. In the Grade 2 Brooklyn on June 12, Dynever came off the pace and finished second as the favorite to Seattle Fitz, the half-length winner.

"It was a very good work," Clement said. "I decided on one work in between races because he ran very hard the other day. My horse has got some momentum and we're excited about the Suburban. It's the right time of the year to have a horse coming up right to a race like this."

The last time Dynever ran the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Suburban, he finished third in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in October.

"I hope we have enough pace in the race, but he's not a one-dimensional horse," Clement said.

Corey Nakatani, Dynever's regular rider, has the mount.

In addition to Dynever, the early probables for the Suburban include Stephen Foster winner Colonial Colony, Bowman's Band, Newfoundland, and Peace Rules. The racing office listed Funny Cide as "50-50" to start in the Suburban. On Friday, Funny Cide's trainer, Barclay Tagg, said, "It's highly unlikely I'll run."

Meridiana works

On Friday, Clement also worked Meridiana in preparation for the $250,000 New York Handicap on July 5. Clement said Meridiana worked a half-mile in "49 and change." The work wasn't listed on the work tab.

In her last start, Meridiana finished third in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay here on May 29 over a yielding course. In the spring, Meridiana won the Grade 2 Orchid at Gulfstream Park and Grade 3 Bewitch at Keeneland.

Clement said he was pleased with Meridiana's effort in the Sheepshead Bay because the condition of the turf wasn't to her liking. "She's a better horse on firm ground," he said. "The only reason she finished third in the Sheepshead Bay is because she tries so hard."

New York-breds lose weight edge

The three-pound weight advantage New York-breds receive in all open races, except in handicaps and stakes, will be eliminated with the start of the new condition book on July 8.

The weight allowance for New York-breds has been in effect at New York Racing Association tracks for the last few years.

Mike Lakow, the racing secretary and handicapper at NYRA, said the recent successes of New York-breds, including graded stakes winners Funny Cide, Friends Lake, and Read the Footnotes, led to the elimination of the weight allowance.

"New York-breds have become very capable," Lakow said. "Right now in New York, they can rest on their merits."

Lakow noted the elimination of the New York-bred weight advantage would benefit riders. "The difference between making 116 or 113 [pounds] can be significant," Lakow said.

Dealer Choice has right connections

A $60,000-added turf stakes for 3-year-olds, the Mac Diarmida, is carded as the seventh race on Sunday's card. Ten runners, who have never won a sweepstakes, were entered in the 1 1/8-mile inner turf race.

Dealer Choice, trained by Bobby Frankel, makes his first start since finishing second in the Grade 3 Generous at Hollywood Park on Nov. 29. The Generous was Dealer Choice's first start in this country. In the one-mile Generous, Dealer Choice was beaten a nose by Castledale, who won this year's Santa Anita Derby.

Dealer Choice hasn't raced beyond a mile, but his closing style should suit him in this spot.

Jerry Bailey rides from post 3.

Good Reward finished fourth behind top turf horses Artie Schiller and Timo in the Grade 3 Hill Prince and catches an easier field here.

Saarland makes turf debut

Saarland, who has raced exclusively on the dirt and primarily in stakes, makes his turf debut in Sunday's third race. A 5-year-old son of Unbridled, Saarland is among six entered in the optional claimer.

Saarland, sixth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile Handicap in his last start on May 31, has worked twice on the grass since his last race.

If King's Drama starts, he is the horse to beat and is coupled in the wagering with Gigli. Frankel, who trains the entry, named Jorge Chavez on both horses. Only one can start.

In his American debut for trainer Robert Collet, King's Drama finished fourth as a longshot in the Grade 1 Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day. King's Drama was beaten two lengths by the winner, Meteor Storm.

L'Oiseau d'Argent, the likely pacesetter, has been in good form this year for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Fragoso, back from injury, wins

Jockey Pablo Fragoso won his first race since being sidelined with a broken collarbone on Friday in the fourth race aboard Calypso Band.

Fragoso, the leading rider at Aqueduct's inner track meet, returned to the races on Wednesday. He broke his collarbone when his mount wheeled leaving the starting gate at Aqueduct on April 28.