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D'Funnybone Returns In Sunshine State Saturday
By Jack Will
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Paul Pompa, Jr.’s 4-year-old D’Funnybone, winner of last year’s Hutcheson Stakes (G2) and Swale Stakes (G2), is entered to make his highly-anticipated return to competition in Saturday’s $60,000 Sunshine State Stakes going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.
Jockey Joe Bravo picks up the mount on D’Funnybone for trainer Rick Dutrow in the field of eight Florida-breds as he makes his first start since finishing seventh at 3-to-1 in the King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) on Travers Day at Saratoga. The chestnut son of D’wildcat won a pair of Grade 2 stakes in New York as a 2-year-old and also scored in the W.C. Stephens Stakes (G2) on Belmont Day last spring before going to the sidelines after Saratoga.
One rival D’Funnybone has faced in Saturday’s field is Gary Barber’s 4-year-old Coffee Boy to be ridden by Alex Solis for trainer Marty Wolfson. The son of Yonaguska won the Carry Back Stakes (G2) on July 10 at Calder Race Course in a mild upset with D’Funnybone second as the 1-to10 favorite shipping in from New York.
Coffee Boy broke his maiden by 8 ½ lengths early last year in his second start when trained by Todd Pletcher prior to a private sale to Barber and being placed with Wolfson. Coffee Boy was sent to the sidelines after the Carry Back and didn’t return until the Gulfstream Sprint Championship (G2) here on Feb. 12, finishing sixth and apparently in need of the race.
Trainer Nick Zito and owner Robert LaPenta teamed up to win the Florida Derby (G1) last Saturday with Dialed In and the Skip Away Stakes (G3) with S.S. Stone and will be represented in the Sunshine State by 4-year-old Our Edge with jockey Fernando Jara named to ride.
A son of LePenta’s Blue Grass Stakes (G1) winner The Cliff’s Edge, Our Edge makes his first start since finishing a distant third behind Eclipse champion Big Drama in the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) here on Jan. 15 as the winner set a track record for the six furlongs. Our Edge was making his first start sine finishing second in a one-mile overnight stakes at Belmont Park in October.
Completing the field for the Sunshine State are Brian Prichard’s How’s Your Halo, Juan Leyva; Rancho Alegre’s Unbridled Heat, Elvis Trujillo; Ione and Herb Elkins’ Dream Maestro, Manoel Cruz; Brooklyn Farm’s It’s Never to Late, Carlos Marquez, Jr.; and My Purple Haze Stable’s Mannington, Orlando Bocachica.