11/20/2003 12:00AM

Plan B still leaves 'Dyna' in a tough spot


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Elliott Walden is hoping the wait is worth it. Walden scratched Dyna Da Wyna out of the Mrs. Revere Stakes last weekend in the hope that the 3-year-old filly would have a better chance to win Saturday when she faces older rivals in the Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs.

"There were two Grade 1 winners in the Mrs. Revere, and the turf was soft," said Walden. "I thought this might end up being a little better spot, and we also had the chance to get Pat Day, and he seems to do well with her. The Cardinal is a tough race, though."

As the lone 3-year-old in the Cardinal field, Dyna Da Wyna will have to run a lifetime best to upset the likes of graded winners Bien Nicole, Riskaverse, and Quick Tip. Just a couple of months ago, that would have been unthinkable: Dyna Da Wyna competed for a $100,000 claiming tag at the end of the Saratoga meet.

"That gave her the chance to be in the right company and learn to rate at the same time," said Walden. "She was pretty rank when we first had her."

Dyna Da Wyna, winner of the Grade 3 Valley View in her last start, is going for her fourth straight victory in the Cardinal.

Big fields for major stakes

With trainer Bobby Frankel shipping in the likely favorite for each race, fields are taking shape for the two richest events of the meet, the Grade 2 Clark and Grade 2 Falls City handicaps.

Frankel has Sightseek in Thursday's $300,000 Falls City, a 1 1/8-mile race expected to get at least nine fillies and mares. Besides Sightseek and Take Charge Lady, the other probables are Angel Gift, Awesome Humor, Fircroft, Lead Story, Mayo on the Side, Miss Terrible, and Rhiana.

Frankel has Medaglia d'Oro as the big horse for next Friday's $500,000 Clark, and he doesn't appear to be scaring away many in that race, either. At least 10 others are expected to oppose him: Country Be Gold, Devil Time, During, M B Sea, Quest, Quest Star, Request for Parole, Seattle Fitz, Snake Mountain, and Tenpins.

Weights for both races will be released Saturday.

Crafty Shaw possible for Cigar Mile

Trainer Pete Vestal said that Crafty Shaw, winner of the Schaefer Mile at Hoosier Park last weekend, could run next in the $350,000 Cigar Mile on Nov. 29, although the other option is the Clark the previous day.

"The mile is awfully enticing," said Vestal.

Crafty Shaw ran a close second behind Lido Palace last year in the 1 1/8-mile Clark.

Why the scratches?

Although the turf course had dried out enough to be rated firm Thursday, five of the 11 scheduled starters were scratched from the featured ninth race, a $54,900 allowance at one mile.

"That was terribly disappointing," said Churchill racing secretary Doug Bredar. "It's a beautiful day and the turf is in great shape. I haven't seen all the excuses, but it would be interesting to see what they are."

Bejarano resumes riding

Jockey Rafael Bejarano was not seriously hurt in a third-race spill here Wednesday. Agent Steve Elzey said Bejarano suffered a superficial cut on his arm and "he was stunned by a pretty good fall" but was otherwise uninjured. Bejarano resumed riding here Thursday.

Meanwhile, Bejarano will ride at the Turfway Park holiday meet and for the early stages of the winter-spring meet, but "the plan probably is to go to Oaklawn if everything works out like we hope," said Elzey.

Turfway runs its holiday meet from Nov. 30-Dec. 31 and the winter-spring meet from Jan. 1-April 1. Oaklawn begins Jan. 23.

Turkey Day dinner popular

Full-card horseplayers will be displaced from their largest gathering space Thursday so that the track can host its annual Thanksgiving dinner in the Paddock Pavilion. Thanksgiving here long has been a major event for hundreds of Louisville families, and with the massive reconstruction project at full tilt, Churchill officials have scrambled to find enough spots to serve dinner.

The track also has sold out 1,200 seats in the Trackside Marquee Village on the first turn and most of the luxury suites.