Paul Pompa Jr.’s D' Funnybone followed up his impressive Saratoga Special (gr. II) win with another no-doubt-about-it victory, this one in the $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) (VIDEO) Sept. 19 at Belmont Park. The 2-year-old son of D'wildcat is sure to be one of the favorites for the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) later this fall, if he is entered.
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Ridden confidently by Edgar Prado, D’ Funnybone scored by 4 3/4 lengths in the seven-furlong Futurity for his third win in four career starts. The bay colt was purchased privately by Pompa after finishing runner-up in the Frank Gomez Memorial July 11 at Calder Race Course while being trained by Joseph Calascibetta. He is now in the barn of Rick Dutrow Jr.
D’ Funnybone, sent off as the 2-5 choice, rated well in the early going, racing in third as Hear Ye Hear Ye ripped through a :22.63 opening quarter-mile and Soundman pressed the pace. D’ Funnybone took over after a half-mile in :45.51, easily passing Hear Ye Hear Ye midway on the turn. The new leader opened up a three-length advantage at the eighth-pole and drew clear with every stride.
Discreetly Mine, who was checked after hitting the starting gate and had to be steadied by Cornelio Velasquez while racing in traffic near the half-mile pole, chased the winner through the stretch but had to settle for runner-up, eight lengths in front of third-place Thiskyhasnolimit. The final time over a track labeled “fast” was 1:22.40.
"He ran the way we expected," Prado said. "He was training great in the morning, and he was very happy. He broke super, and I rode with a lot of confidence today. I know what he’s capable of, so I let the other two horses go and sat and waited. I was looking for him to see a target, and he was very comfortable there.
"Today he gave me a better feeling (about his ability to go futher) than last time. Last time I thought he was going to be limited, but today he really opened up and I didn’t even have to hit him. I think he’s getting better with races and rating well. He’s moving the right way,” said Prado.
D' Funnybone was bred in Florida by his original owner, Harold Plumley, and is out of the Woodman mare Elbow. He broke his maiden by 7 1/4 lengths May 23 at Calder before missing by a half-length in the Frank Gomez. He romped by 10 1/2 lengths in the Saratoga Special on Aug. 20 in his first start for Dutrow. The chestnut colt has now earned $278,200.
“I was very impressed," Dutrow said. "He had to show up on this track going a little further, he dealt with some tough customers, and he showed up the right way. We’re very, very happy with him. Everything went his way today; he broke good, and he likes to stalk the speed on the outside."
As for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, which will be held Nov. 7 on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface, Dutrow said: “I’d rather run him here (Oct. 10, in the grade I Champagne Stakes) and then just stop on him for the year. I wish it were five weeks. I’m not crazy about California and the Polytracks, but there’s a lot of excitement that goes with (the Breeders’ Cup) and how can you turn it down?”
The winner paid $2.90, $2.30, and $2.10. The exacta (6-1) returned $7.70 and the trifecta (6-1-7) was $42.40.