03/29/2004 12:00AM

Weight might keep Dynever out of Gulf 'Cap


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Dynever worked a strong half-mile in 51 seconds at Payson Park on Monday morning and couldn't be doing better, according to trainer Christophe Clement. But despite all signs appearing favorable, Dynever's starting status for Saturday's $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap remains up in the air.

"I'm a little concerned with the weight they gave me," said Clement, who trains Dynever for owners Catherine Wills and Peter Karches. "This is my horse's first start of the year and he was only a Grade 3 winner last season, but he'll have to give four pounds to more seasoned horses like Seattle Fitz."

Dynever was assigned high weight of 119 pounds for the 1 1/4-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap, three more than Newfoundland and four more than Seattle Fitz, who finished second in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap earlier in the meeting. Dynever, who captured the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby at 3, has been idle since finishing third behind Pleasantly Perfect and Medaglia d'Oro in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"My horse is still eligible for a three-other-than allowance race and this would be only the second time he's ever run a mile and one-quarter," said Clement. "It's still possible he may start. I'll talk it over with the owners and we'll make a final decision Wednesday."

Formal Attire not ready to run

One potential contender definitely out of the race is Formal Attire, who continues to suffer from the effects of a bruised foot sustained during a morning work earlier this month.

"He lost a shoe and came back with a pretty severe bruise in his left foot when I worked him on [March 7]," said trainer Phil Serpe. "It didn't look all that serious but we're still waiting for the foot to grow back completely. I worked him a half-mile last week and he's still tender on it. If the race was a mile and one-sixteenth I might try him, but I'd be running a short horse if I tried sending him a mile and one-quarter off one 49 half-mile work."

Formal Attire was on top of his game this winter, winning a second-level allowance race here on Jan. 14 before shipping to Santa Anita, where he finished a troubled fifth, beaten only two lengths, in the Grade 2 Strub.

"We've been pointing for the Gulfstream Park Handicap since the Strub," said Serpe. "It looked like it was going to come up a perfect spot, but it's not worth jeopardizing our horse to run him at this point."

Like Clement, trainer Todd Pletcher also remains up in the air about the status of his Gulfstream Park Handicap starter, Newfoundland. Newfoundland has already won the Grade 3 Canadian Turf and Skip Away handicaps here this winter. Pletcher does have the stretch-running Indy Dancer pointed for the race.

Seattle Fitz worked four furlongs in 47.20 at Palm Meadows on Monday, a full second faster than the next-best work on the tab. Aaron Gryder will ride Seattle Fitz for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

Friends Lake remains fit

Florida Derby winner Friends Lake got to stretch his legs a bit at Payson Park on Monday morning, according to trainer John Kimmel.

"I let him go along at a little better than a two-minute clip," said Kimmel. "He's ready to get back on the program and we'll pick up the pace now. I'll breeze him either Wednesday or Thursday. He's a pretty fit horse. He wouldn't have blown out a match when he came back this morning."

Kimmel will stick to his plan of training Friends Lake up to the Kentucky Derby. Friends Lake will remain at Payson Park before shipping to Churchill Downs 10 days before the Derby.

"He'll have his final Derby work six days out, on the 25th, weather permitting," said Kimmel.

Sir Oscar added to Aventura lineup

Trainer Marty Wolfson has changed his mind and will now run both Zakocity and Sir Oscar in Saturday's $250,000 Aventura Stakes.

Sir Oscar was discovered to be partially paralyzed on one side of his throat after finishing a tiring eighth in the Florida Derby. As a result, Wolfson was planning on turning him back to seven furlongs and going to Tampa Bay Downs for Sunday's $75,000 Sophomore Stakes.

"The Aventura looks to be coming up light and I'd rather run [Sir Oscar] here than ship out of town," said Wolfson. "He's doing very well since the Florida Derby. We've made some equipment changes to help his breathing. He'll run in a figure-eight on Saturday and he's not making any noise in the mornings now."

Sir Oscar worked a half-mile in 51.40 while Zakocity breezed the same distance in 52.60 at Calder on Monday.

Turf sprint record broken

Desirable Moment set a course record for about five furlongs on the turf, covering the distance in 55.61 seconds en route to her second straight victory here Sunday. The former record was set three years ago by Elvi Gamble.

Five furlong races become "about" distances when the temporary rail is up. The rail was set out 25 feet from the inner hedge for Sunday's card.

Desirable Moment is trained by Tim Hills and was ridden by Jose Ferrer.