Paul Pompa Jr.’s D' Funnybone handled a field of 3-year-olds at the same distance and over the same Gulfstream Park strip last month in his season debut, and now the colt is favored to do the same in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) March 20.
With regular rider Edgar Prado aboard for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr., D’ Funnybone will be the one to beat in a field of nine going seven furlongs on the main track. The Swale is one of five graded stakes on a Gulfstream program highlighted by the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I).
D’ Funnybone, a chestnut colt by D'wildcat out of the Woodman mare Elbow, has won four of six starts to start his promising career. He rolled to easy wins in the Saratoga Special (gr. II) and Futurity (gr. II) Stakes as a juvenile, and opened his 3-year-old campaign with a one-length score in the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 20 at Gulfstream. Pompa purchased D’ Funnybone privately last summer from his breeder, Harold J. Plumley.
The only blemish on D’ Funnybone’s resume came when he finished last of 13 after prompting the pace in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on the artificial Pro-Ride at Santa Anita in November. Dutrow has suggested several times since then that the colt did not care for the synthetic surface more so than the distance of the race, which was at 1 1/16 miles.
The only other graded stakes winner in the field is Evelyn and Darrell Yates’ Dixie Band
, a gelding who won his first three starts last year at Arlington Park, including the Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III), but was 10th in the two-turn Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland Oct. 10. This will be the 3-year-old debut for the son of Dixie Union
. Julien Leparoux will ride for Wayne Catalano.
Also making his 3-year-old debut is Jeff Singer and David Lanzman’s Fearless Cowboy
, who was a distant third to D’Funnybone in the Saratoga Special last summer in his first start on dirt. Fearless Cowboy, by El Corredor
, won the Colin Stakes on the Woodbine Polytrack last summer. Alan Garcia has the mount.
Coming into the race in good form is Donald Ming’s Gary D
, who won the OBS Sprint at Ocala Training Center Feb. 15 by nearly four lengths. That victory came after a romping 6 1/2-length maiden special weight score at Tampa Bay Downs in January. Elvis Trujillo picks up the ride for Freddie Hyatt.
Completing the field are Susan and Jim Hill’s City Trooper, Jacks or Better Farm’s Hear Ye Hear Ye, Anstu Stable’s Ibboyee, C.R.K. Stable’s Privilaged, and Charles Galli’s Silver Craft.
$150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II, Race 10, 5:45 p.m.), 3YO, 7 Furlongs (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hear Ye Hear Ye (FL), J Sanchez, 120, S I Gold
2. Silver Craft (KY), J L Castanon, 116, A L Reinstedler
3. Ibboyee (NY), J R Velazquez, 120, T A Pletcher
4. City Trooper (NY), J Castellano, 116, G Weaver
5. Fearless Cowboy (KY), A Garcia, 120, K P McLaughlin
6. Dixie Band (KY), J R Leparoux, 120, W M Catalano
7. D' Funnybone (FL), E S Prado, 122, R E Dutrow, Jr.
8. Gary D (KY), E Trujillo, 120, J Pinchin
9. Privilaged (FL), T Baze, 114, J W Sadler