Paul Pompa Jr.'s D' FUNNYBONE (D'wildcat) turned in another impressive performance in Saturday's $150,000 Swale S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park, winning easily by 1 1/4 lengths and confirming his status as the country's leading three-year-old sprinter. With Edgar Prado sitting chilly most of the way, the Richard Dutrow-trained colt pressed an opening quarter-mile in :22 1/5 before moving to the lead. He recorded a half-mile :44 1/5 and drew off comfortably into the stretch, passing the six-furlong mark in 1:08 4/5 en route to completing seven panels in 1:21 4/5.
"It was easy," Prado said. "He had a little pressure early but he was just galloping along. The track has been fast all day, so we just wanted to take advantage of that. There was really never any concern out there; maybe a little when a couple of the horses hooked up with him early, but he was always going along at a cruising speed, and at that point I hadn't asked him to go yet."
After posting runaway victories in the Saratoga Special (G2) and Futurity S. (G2) last season, D' Funnybone threw in his only clunker when trying two turns and a synthetic track in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). He rebounded in style when opening his sophomore season with a facile score in the seven-furlong Hutcheson (G2), and his connections must now decide whether they want to keep him sprinting.
"He ran like I thought he would," Dutrow stated. "It looked like he was pretty much in control all the way. My first choice for him next would be the (April 24) Withers ([G3] at Aqueduct), a one-turn mile, then see where we are."
Favored at 1-2, the chestnut colt returned $3, $2.20 and $2.10 to his many supporters. Ibboyee (Medallist), the near 4-1 second choice among nine rivals, rallied strongly from last to be a clear second and paid $3.40 and $2.80.
"I had a good trip, but he didn't take to the dirt in his face all that well," jockey John Velazquez said of Ibboyee. "It was kicking back on him and he didn't really like it."
Privilaged (Southern Image) finished another 1 1/4 lengths back in third at 35-1 and totaled $7.40. The exotics yielded $9.20 (exacta), $143.40 (trifecta) and $762 for the 7-3-9-1 superfecta that included Hear Ye Hear Ye (Hear No Evil) in fourth. Dixie Band (Dixie Union), Fearless Cowboy (El Corredor), City Trooper (City Zip), Gary D (Successful Appeal) and Silver Craft (Value Plus) came next under the wire.
D' Funnybone has now earned $458,200 from his 7-5-1-0 line. Originally co-owned by breeder Harold Plumley, M. Plumley and trainer Joseph Calascibetta, he was an impressive, 7 1/4-length debut maiden winner going 4 1/2 furlongs at Calder in late May. Next time out, the chestnut was embroiled in a speed duel in the Frank Gomez Memorial S. at Calder, held the lead late, and was just outfinished by Jackson Bend (Hear No Evil) by a half-length. He was subsequently purchased by Pompa and transferred to Dutrow.
In his first start for his new connections in the Saratoga Special, D' Funnybone blew the doors off seven overmatched rivals to win by 10 1/2 lengths. He came back to take the Futurity by 4 3/4 lengths, but threw in the worst effort of his career in the aforementioned Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He registered his third Grade 2 victory at seven furlongs on Saturday.
The Florida-bred was produced by the winning Woodman mare Elbow, making him a half-brother to stakes victress and Grade 2-placed Dr. Kathy (Polish Numbers) and an unnamed yearling colt by Pomeroy. D' Funnybone's third dam is Top Flight H. (G1) heroine Chain Bracelet (Lyphard). The family also includes Selene S. (Can-G1) winner Zoftig (Cozzene), herself the dam of Acorn S. (G1) winner Zaftig (Gone West), and further back, champions Swale (Seattle Slew) and Forty Niner (Mr. Prospector).