11/20/2006 1:00AM

McDynamo ices third Eclipse

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McDynamo clinched his third steeplechase Eclipse Award with a determined victory in the Grade 1, $150,000 Colonial Cup at Springdale Race Course in Camden, S.C on Sunday.

A 9-year-old son of Dynaformer, McDynamo followed Mon Villez throughout and challenged the leader at the top of the long stretch. Unexpectedly, Mon Villez fought back and pressed the favorite over the final quarter-mile. McDynamo summoned more, however, and won by a length over Mon Villez with Hirapour a half-length back in third. The winner covered the 2 3/4 miles and 17 fences in 5:16.20.

Trained by Sanna Hendriks and ridden by Jody Petty, McDynamo came into the race off a fourth consecutive win in the Breeders' Cup Grand National on Oct. 28, but needed the Colonial Cup to ensure an Eclipse Award to go with his championships in 2003 and 2005.

A Kentucky-bred gelding, he left no doubt, sewing up the 2006 earnings title with $285,000, including the $90,000 Colonial Cup winner's check. McDynamo now stands to become the seventh three-time steeplechase champion in history.

Hirapour pulled up lame despite losing by just 1 1/2 lengths and will likely be retired by Eldon Farm and trainer Doug Fout.