Three months ago, John A. Chandler’s Dynaforce overcame everything but rising turf star Mauralakana in the Grade 2 New York Handicap at Belmont Park, finishing second by a neck in her very first start in the United States.
On a muggy Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, the 5-year-old mare turned the tables on Mauralakana as she led almost every step over a yielding turf course to post a four-length upset victory in the 31st edition of the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational.
Fighting back as they straightened for home, the bay daughter of Dynaformer regained the lead at the head of the stretch and steadily widened her advantage to the wire, completing the mile and one-quarter in a pokey 2:07.59 for her first American victory in four starts.
“It was an easy trip,” said Garcia. “She broke well and let me take the lead. In the last strides, Dynaforce showed her stuff.”
Second in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga Race Course and fifth as the favorite in the Grade 3 Glens Falls Handicap, Dynaforce extended her record to four victories – all of them coming over less-than-firm courses -- in 11 starts, with three seconds and two thirds. The winner’s purse of $360,000 more than doubled her earnings to $614,772 and she returned $8.60 for a $2 win bet as the second choice in the field of five.
“I’m real proud of her,” said Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott of Dynaforce. “She’s run two good races here and the Diana at Saratoga was a top race. A horse can’t run any better than she did in the Diana, and she ran second.”
Mauralakana, who suffered her first defeat after four straight wins, was a neck ahead of Communique, who was followed under the wire by Jade Queen and Palmilla. Hostess was scratched.
“The lack of pace and the soft going probably compromised my chances,” said Desormeaux. “I got past her (Dynaforce) and I was faster than the winner, but I couldn’t sustain the run. The ground caused that.”
Mauralakana’s trainer, Christophe Clement, said the mare would go on to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park on October 24, a race which is also under consideration for Dynaforce.