Ridden by Martin Garcia, the favorite appreciated a slight drop in class in the approximate 6 1/2-furlong Morvich following a stretch run that unfolded roughly for the contender, Night Chapter. In a closely bunched field thundering through the home stretch, Night Chapter, ridden by Tyler Baze, attempted to squeeze through a hole between the tiring McCann's Mojave and Relato Del Gato but was completely cut off. Get Funky, battling four wide on the outside of Relato Del Gato, appeared to bump with that rival as well.
But after reviewing what happened, Oak Tree stewards opted to make no changes in the official finish. Night Chapter wound up fifth.
Get Funky, owned by Keith Abrahams, ended a three-race losing string. The 4-year-old colt by Straight Man--Miss Popularity (by Storm Bird) had been out of action for more than four months following a game second-place finish behind The Tin Man in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park May 28. He returned three weeks ago to finish fourth in the Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT). Get Funky is now two-for-two on the hillside for Sadler, who was in New Jersey for the Breeders' Cup.
"This was a perfect race that John picked out about a month ago," said Larry Benavidez, Sadler's assistant. "It was tailor-made for him. He ran down the hill when he beat Roi Charmant (in March). He obviously loves the hill.”
Cutting back in distance, Get Funky completed his journey in 1:13 1/5. He pressed fractions of :22 1/5, :44 4/5 and 1:07 1/5 set by Relato Del Gato, ridden by Agapito Delgadillo.
“I knew (Relato Del Gato) had a lot of speed," winning jockey Garcia said. "I thought I could lay second, and I thought I had the best horse. It looked like slow fractions for a race like this. He ran really game.”
Get Funky has now won five of 13 races lifetime while earning $500,438. The victory was worth $66,000.
Larry Stewart bred the dark brown Get Funky in Florida.
The winner paid $6, $3.80, and $2.60. Relato Del Gato, now first or second in nine consecutive starts since he was claimed by trainer Jeff Mullins and owner Bob Bone out of a $10,000 claiming race at Turf Paradise less than a year ago, returned $13 and $5.60. Grade I winner Becrux, closing well for jockey Alonso Quinonez, was $3.20 to show. The $2 exacta was worth $76.80.
McCann's Mojave finished fourth, followed by second-choice Night Chapter, Specalist Morgen J, Heatseeker, and the Australian-bred Cateclipse. Warrior Song, Worchester, and Clinet scratched.
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