05/01/2003 11:00PM

Dynever 'very fit' for Lone Star Derby


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Dynever heads what could be a full field for the Grade 3, $500,000 Lone Star Derby on Saturday. The 1 1/8-mile race is the richest of the meet at Lone Star Park, and had 10 early probables as of Friday.

Dynever, preparing for the Lone Star Derby, worked a half-mile in 50.05 seconds over Belmont's main track on Friday morning.

"It was a very good work," said Christophe Clement, Dynever's trainer, who timed the colt galloping out five furlongs in 1:01 and change. "He's very fit. He's the type of horse that doesn't need very much work."

Clement is using the Lone Star Derby as a steppingstone to the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 7. In a perfect world, Clement would have preferred to run in a 1 1/8-mile race at Belmont, rather than having to ship to Texas. He said the timing of the Lone Star Derby was better for Dynever than the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan on May 24 at Belmont.

"He's not a horse that can come back so quick," Clement said. "He needs his four weeks. It's a big deal for him."

In his third career start, Dynever, a son of Dynaformer, was an impressive winner of the Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream Park on April 5. Owned by Peter Karches and his breeder, Catherine Wills, Dynever finished second in his career debut in a sprint on Feb. 8 and four weeks later won a two-turn maiden race by 8 1/4 lengths.

Edgar Prado, aboard for each of Dynever's races, has the mount. Dynever is scheduled to fly to Texas on Wednesday.

Others considered probable for the Lone Star Derby by track officials as of Friday are Christine's Outlaw, the third-place finisher in the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby; Crowned Dancer, fourth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass; Crowned King, winner of the $125,000 Rebel at Oaklawn; Defrere's Vixen; Leo's Last Hurrahy; Mauk Four, winner of the $75,000 Northern Spur at Oaklawn; Most Feared; Mr. Technique; and My Champion.

High times for Theriot

This is jockey Jamie Theriot's breakout year. He won his first Oaklawn Park title in April, and despite pulling into the Lone Star meet two weeks late, has made an immediate impact to rank third in the standings through Thursday.

His success this year has catapulted him to eighth place in the national rider standings by wins, higher than any other regular in the region. And along the way, he has picked up mounts on some exciting horses, the foremost being Beau's Town.

Theriot is perfect in two starts aboard the gelding, winning the $150,000 Pelleteri Breeders' Cup at Fair Grounds with him in March, and the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn in April.

Next month, he will ride in New York for the first time when he teams with Beau's Town in the Grade 2, $250,000 True North Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park on June 7.

"He's one of the best horses I have ever ridden," said Theriot, a 24-year-old native of Louisiana.

Theriot rode eventual Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem three times during the 2001-2002 meet at Fair Grounds. He won an entry-level allowance with the colt, who was sold to The Thoroughbred Corporation shortly before the Kentucky Derby.

Beau's Town, whose connections hope to see him land in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, could become a signature horse for Theriot.

"I think he can run with the best of them," he said. "He's on top of his game right now."

Beau's Town is trained by Cole Norman, who is Theriot's main patron. The two first teamed briefly in 1998 at Louisiana Downs, and late last year, Norman asked Theriot to be his main stable rider.

"I like that he's a hard worker," said Norman. "He gets horses out of the gate good. And he can ride a front-runner, a stalker or a come-from-behinder. He's a good judge of pace, and he wins. That's the main part."

Theriot, a past riding champion at Evangeline Downs, is represented by agent Jerry Reites.

* Seneca Rock, who two races ago finished second to Call Me Lefty in the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes, is in a good position to pick up his first two-turn win in the featured eighth race Sunday. The one-mile entry-level allowance for statebreds is worth $29,000.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson