10/19/2007 11:00PM

McDynamo wins fifth straight BC steeplechase

EmailFAR HILLS, N.J. - Steeplechase superstar McDynamo captured his fifth consecutive Breeders' Cup steeplechase win with a powerful score in the Grade 1, $300,000 BC Grand National on Saturday at the Far Hills Races.

Owned by Michael Moran and trained by Sanna Hendriks, McDynamo rated in second behind Luongo early and took the lead for good on the final run down the backside. He repelled Good Night Shirt and Best Attack before drawing off to win by six lengths while easing up in the final yards. McDynamo, ridden by Jody Petty, covered the 2 5/8 miles and 14 jumps over a good turf course in 5:30.60. Sweet Shani rallied for second, with Best Attack third and Good Night Shirt fourth.

Hendriks was relieved afterward, and marveled at the sustained excellence of her horse.

"I didn't come here anticipating the win, but I guess I was cautiously optimistic," she said. "I just didn't want to let him down and I didn't. He got here in great shape, on top of his game, and he showed it. It's a pretty special win."

McDynamo, a 10-year-old son of Dynaformer, came into the race off a five-month layoff and lost his last start, the Grade 1 Iroquois, by 28 lengths in May. Good Night Shirt won that day, but was no match for the winner at Far Hills. No one was.

"When he walks out of the paddock here, he walks out like he's home," said Petty, who won three on the day, including the 100th of his career. "I don't know why, but I can feel it. He knows where he is, he knows what he's doing. I was keeping him in check early on and made him jump a couple short to stay in behind. On the backside, I told him we could go jump his way and he just pinged all three of those fences and ran away from them."

Bred in Kentucky and sold at Keeneland as a yearling, McDynamo won for the 15th time in 24 steeplechase starts, earning $180,000 to push his career bankroll to a record $1,305,604. The Eclipse Award winner as champion steeplechaser in 2003, 2005, and 2006, he jumped back into the picture for 2007. His next start will come in the Grade 1, $150,000 Colonial Cup at Camden, S.C., on Nov. 18.