05/09/2004 11:00PM

This Pimlico Special aptly named


It's only the middle of May, but glancing at the field for Friday's Grade 1, $500,000 Pimlico Special, trainer Christophe Clement couldn't help but think it was the end of October.

Clement will send out the multiple graded stakes winner Dynever in the Special, in a field that includes Funny Cide, the dual-classic winner and last year's 3-year-old champion; Southern Image, a multiple Grade 1 winner with only one career defeat; Midway Road, whose monster win in the Grade 3 Ben Ali at Keeneland earned the highest Beyer Speed Figure of the new millennium; Evening Attire, a Grade 1 winner who has four straight runner-up finishes; Bowman's Band, the Meadowlands Cup winner; and Ole Faunty, the John Campbell Stakes winner.

"Add Medaglia d'Oro and Pleasantly Perfect and you got the Breeders' Cup Classic," said Clement, whose horse was made the 5-2 second choice behind Funny Cide (2-1), by Pimlico handicapper Frank Carulli.

The Special highlights a 12-race card on Friday, which begins at 12:40 p.m. and contains four other stakes, including the Black-Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies.

Dynever ended his 3-year-old season last year by finishing third behind Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d'Oro in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Dynever made a most impressive 4-year-old debut, winning the Grade 3 San Bernardino Handicap by 4 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita on April 3. Corey Nakatani will ride from post 7.

Funny Cide might have run the best race of his career when winning the Preakness here last May by 9 3/4 lengths. He is coming off a half-length score over Evening Attire in the Grade 3 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap. Funny Cide will break from post 5 under Jose Santos.

Midway Road, who was beaten by Funny Cide in the Preakness, had his coming-out party in the Ben Ali at Keeneland last month. He won by 11 1/4 lengths and earned a spectacular Beyer Speed Figure of 123. Artax, winning the 1999 Breeders' Cup Sprint, was the last horse to be given a higher figure.

Midway Road, who worked four furlongs in 46.20 seconds Sunday at Churchill Downs, arrived at Pimlico on Monday morning. On Monday, Evening Attire was credited with a half-mile move in 49.62 seconds over the Belmont Park training track.

Southern Image, who won the Santa Anita Handicap last out, is the 120-pound Pimlico Special highweight, starting from post 4 under Victor Espinoza. He was scheduled to arrive from Southern California on Tuesday.

Black-Eyed Susan: Yearly Report fave

The Grade 2, $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan is Baltimore's version of the Kentucky Oaks. But the field of 3-year-old fillies assembled for this 1 1/8-mile test is far from as accomplished as the Oaks field.

Yearly Report, winner of the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes in February, looms a heavy favorite for trainer Bob Baffert and rider Jerry Bailey. Yearly Report, a California-bred daughter of General Meeting, is 3 for 4 and is coming off an easy four-length score in the Melair Stakes on California Gold Rush Day at Hollywood Park.

Pawyne Princess, who nearly stole the Federico Tesio against males, returns to facing females. Song Track comes off a solid 7 1/2-length allowance score for trainer Neil Howard and the partnership of Will Farish and Ogden Mills Phipps.

Pimlico Distaff: Field in flux

A field of 10 fillies and mares was entered for the Grade 3, $150,000 Pimlico Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap, but a couple of the stars are unlikely to run. Roar Emotion, last year's Black-Eyed Susan winner, and Smok'n Frolic, a multiple graded stakes winner, are more likely to run in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Shuvee in New York, their connections said.

The race becomes pretty wide open after that, with perhaps Nonsuch Bay the one to beat. Angela's Love, 2 for 2 since stretching out for trainer Dale Romans, could be the one to catch.

Miss Preakness: 11 entered

The undefeated Among My Souvenirs, sidelined since mid-March due a foot abscess, is scheduled to make her return in the $100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. She is entered against 10 others, including stakes winners Fall Fashion, Baldomera, and Stephan's Angel.

The Very One: A Mamzelle rematch

Nicole's Dream beat Tangier by a nose in the Mamzelle Stakes at Churchill Downs two days before the Kentucky Derby. Those two head a 14-horse field entered in the $75,000 The Very One Handicap, which, like the Mamzelle, is contested at five furlongs on the turf.