10/15/2003 11:00PM

McDynamo looks best

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Welcome to the World Series of steeplechasing. No word yet on whether Zim, Pedro, Pudge, or Sammy will show up, but the 83rd annual Far Hills Races on Saturday in Far Hills, N.J., will surely attract plenty of steeplechase sluggers.

On the richest day in American steeplechase racing, Far Hills puts up $455,000. The racing program, which starts at 1 p.m., includes the big one: the $175,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase hurdle stakes with heavy favorite McDynamo.

But the lineup also includes the $30,000 Harry E. Harris hurdle stakes for fillies and mares, the $100,000 Foxbrook Supreme hurdle stakes for novice steeplechasers, the $50,000 Charles Appleton hurdle stakes, the $50,000 New Jersey Hunt Cup timber stakes, and the $50,000 Gladstone hurdle stakes.

Seven horses will test McDynamo in the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, a 2 5/8-mile race with 14 fences. McDynamo won his only race this year, the Royal Chase at Keeneland. Owned by Pennsylvania resident Michael Moran, McDynamo is 2 for 2 over the Far Hills course.

Trainer Sanna Hendriks, seeking her first Breeders' Cup win, expects a quality performance.

"He had his last work on Sunday, and did it nicely," said Hendriks.

McDynamo won the Royal Chase in April, rallying from off the pace on the final turn to win by 7 1/2 lengths. Regular jockey Craig Thornton, aboard that day and slated to ride again Saturday, called the race a controlled burn.

"I don't fight him, I just let him pop away at his fences and not ask too much of him," he said then. "I just tried to get him to relax and breathe."

Second choice Indispensable comes off back-to-back quality starts, including a win in the T. Rowe Price Legacy Chase three weeks ago for leading trainer Jack Fisher. Indispensable, 9, has never won a Grade 1 stakes, but was a fast-closing third in the New York Turf Writers Cup at Saratoga.

Pelagos can make a case for championship honors with a victory for trainer Bruce Miller. Pelagos scored a Grade 1 victory in the Iroquois in May. Fourth in the Breeders' Cup last year, Pelagos will enjoy the 2 5/8-mile distance and gets the veteran jockey Chip Miller.

Trainer Kathy Neilson entered three horses - Mulahen, Trebizond, and Mr Perkolater. Mulahen won a Saratoga allowance and comes off two decent stakes efforts. Trebizond won two Grade 1 novice stakes this spring, but has struggled in three straight defeats vs. open company. Mr Perkolater finished behind McDynamo in two races last year and was eighth in the Legacy Cup.

Joe Clancy is editor of Steeplechase Times