D' Funnybone , purchased privately one month ago by top owner Paul Pompa Jr., provided an immediate return on the investment when he crushed his rivals in the $150,000 Saratoga Special (gr. II) (VIDEO) at the Spa Aug. 20.
Edgar Prado guided the Florida-bred son of D'wildcat to a 10 1/2-length victory over a field that included seven well-regarded 2-year-old rivals. The final time for the 6 1/2-furlong main track test was 1:17.58 on a track labeled 'fast' in spite of showers earlier during the program.
D' Funnybone dominated maidens in his debut at Calder Race Course by 7 1/4 lengths in May, returning July 11 to post a close second in the Frank Gomez Memorial over the same track.
Purchased by Pompa from trainer Joe Calascibetta for an undisclosed sum a few days after the Gomez, D' Funnybone was turned over to Rick Dutrow Jr., who has been training the chestnut colt in New York since. The first stakes victory for D' Funnybone was worth $90,000.
"We punched, we got a fair price, and Rick said he was ready, and he ran," Pompa said afterward. "Edgar did a great job also. We knew there was going to be a lot of speed, and our intention was to sit off, and he executed. That’s why Edgar’s the best.
“I was very impressed. I just like to win, but when they draw off like that at Saratoga you have to be very satisfied."
Asked if D' Funnybone reminded him of Big Brown , the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner in which Pompa was a partner, the owner responded, “We’re going to take one step at a time. We knew the other guy could go long. We’ll find out about this guy.”
Pompa said D' Funnybone would either run in the Futurity (gr. II) at Belmont Park on Sept. 19, "or we come back here in three weeks and try and take down the (Three Chimneys) Hopeful (gr. I on Sept. 7).”
D' Funnybone broke on top in the Saratoga Special, but eased back a bit while racing off the rail as slight favorite Tiny Woods pulled his way to the front on the outside. D' Funnybone tracked just off a wickedly fast early pace. Tiny Woods, ridden by Mike Smith, carved fractions of :21.42 and :44.67, but D' Funnybone, who had dropped about two lengths off the pace on the backstretch, closed in rounding the turn.
As the two reached the top of the stretch, D' Funnybone, who had angled to the outside, went on with it while Tiny Woods shortened stride. D' Funnybone widened his advantage under a little right-handed urging and was completely in command by 4 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole. He drew off from there while being kept to the task by Prado.
“D’ Funnybone came out of the gate beautifully and then Mike started making his move on the backside and he wanted the lead, so I didn’t take it," Prado said. "I brought my horse to the outside and he was very comfortable out there. Then, when he took the lead, he was good. I think there’s more in him to go a little further.”
Smith said the Bob Baffert trainee Tiny Woods seemed to be having trouble breathing.
“(The race) did not go good, and by that I mean (Tiny Woods) was not breathing well," Smith said. "He was making a lot of noise, that’s why we had to stop. You could physically hear him trying to breathe.”
Second choice Zip Quik, making his first start over dirt after three tries on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track, grabbed second by a nose under Julien Leparoux, with Fearless Cowboy and Alan Garcia finishing third. Tiny Woods, the 5-2 choice, finished seventh.
Sent off as the third choice, D' Funnybone carried 118 pounds and paid $10.20, $5.10 and $3.30 while topping a $44 exacta.
Bred by Harold J. Plumley, D' Funnybone is out of the Woodman mare Elbow.
Zip Quik, who was coming off a second-place finish in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III), raced with Lasix for the first time and returned $4 and $3.30.
Trainer Patrick Biancone said he would take the New York-bred Zip Quik back to California and return to for the Futurity at Belmont.
Fearless Cowboy, a stakes winner on Woodbine's Polytrack in his last start, was worth $3.90 to show for new conditioner Kiaran McLaughlin. Fearless Cowboy carried top weight of 122.
It was 1 3/4 lengths back to Insightful in fourth. He was followed by Activity Report, Flatter Than Me, Tiny Woods and Theskyhasnolimit. China scratched.