12/16/2003 1:00AM

'Lady' back where she runs best


NEW ORLEANS - Dynamic Lady was born in Kentucky and has spent much of her racetrack life in New York, but the place she really wants to be is New Orleans.

At Fair Grounds last season, Dynamic Lady's form reached heights not seen before or since, and after a lost summer, she has picked up the pace of her training since shipping here early in November. Thursday, in the featured ninth race, she returns to action, facing just six opponents in a third-level grass allowance. The race, contested at about 1 1/16 miles, also offers a $62,500 claiming option.

Dynamic Lady, owned by the C.K. Woods Stable and trained by Bill Badgett, was another struggling allowance filly when she got to town last year, but she immediately popped for an entry-level allowance win, and came right back to finish second behind the good filly Bedanken in the $100,000 Pago Hop. Before meet's end, she had won another allowance race and earned a respectable fifth in a tough edition of the Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap, boosted to Grade 3 status this season.

"Horses for courses," Badgett said Tuesday morning. "That's why we just stopped on her last summer. We thought maybe she needed a freshening, and bringing her down here would work again."

Turf horses sometimes struggle in their day-to-day training over the main track, but many trainers feel horses with a grass stride do better on the Fair Grounds main track than elsewhere. Dynamic Lady, Badgett said, sometimes will get next to nothing out of main-track breezes in New York, but at Fair Grounds, he said, "she'll always breeze five-eighths in 1:02. Sometimes in New York, she'll go in 1:05."

With her body in better overall condition through her daily exercise, Dynamic Lady now returns to a course that typically favors her deep-closing style. Her rider, Eddie Martin Jr., knows the filly well, and even a lack of pace in Thursday's race may not stop Dynamic Lady.

Spectacular Lisa seems like the leading candidate to knock Dynamic Lady off, but her trainer, Mike Stidham, isn't certain his filly is on the proper surface.

"She seems to me to be a better dirt horse, but we didn't have that option for her at this time," said Stidham.

Thursday's race marks Spectacular Lisa's first for the Stidham barn. A 3-year-old filly, she has campaigned in Florida the last two seasons, going 3 for 6 on dirt and 0 for 3 on turf.

Are You Home, third in the Remington Park Oaks, also has a shot. Dyna Penny, who appeared to hang in her last start, is an exotics factor.