08/26/2010 2:04PM

Can Discreetly Mine do it again in King's Bishop?

Barbara D. Livingston
Discreetly Mine, who earned a 111 Beyer Speed Figure in the Amsterdam earlier this month, may need a similar effort to win the King's Bishop.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Discreetly Mine vaulted to the top of the 3-year-old sprint division with his brilliant performance in the Grade 2 Amsterdam earlier this month. The question is whether Discreetly Mine can duplicate that performance when he returns less than four weeks later and stretches out an additional sixteenth of a mile to seven furlongs against a stellar field in Saturday’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga.

Discreetly Mine has embarked on a new career since finishing a distant 13th behind stablemate Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher decided to shorten Discreetly Mine back to one turn after the Derby and has since been rewarded with a pair of graded stakes wins, including a powerful 6 3/4-length triumph in the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam. Discreetly Mine received a 111 Beyer Speed Figure for that effort, the highest number posted by a 3-year-old at any distance this season.

The only change Pletcher has made since the Amsterdam is the manner in which he has trained his horse up to the King’s Bishop. Discreetly Mine had worked a bullet-half mile in 46.20 seconds as his final prep for the Amsterdam. In his only two works since that race, Discreetly Mine breezed half miles in 51.80 and 52.20.

“He worked way too fast before the Amsterdam but it turned out okay,” said Pletcher. “This time we’re playing it a little more on the cautious side and slowed him way down with his breezes although he’s done enough to get him to run another big race.”

Discreetly Mine and jockey John Velazquez should sit a similar trip on Saturday as in the Amsterdam, stalking the early pace that figures to be set by Bulldogger and In Jack’s Memory.

D’ Funnybone, the last horse to defeat Discreetly Mine, rallied to a relatively easy 3 1/4 length triumph when they met in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on June 5. A five-time Grade 2 winner, D’ Funnybone will try to bounce back from a disappointing effort as the 1-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Carry Back at Calder five weeks ago when he was beaten a length by the locally based Coffee Boy. D’ Funnybone is perfect in four starts at the seven-furlong distance of the King’s Bishop and turned in one of the best efforts of his career when he captured the Grade 2 Saratoga Special by more than 10 lengths here at 2.

“I thought he ran well at Calder but unfortunately he got beat,” said trainer Rick Dutrow. “But he’s trained well since the race and is really loving it up here. He’s having a ball.”

One of the biggest question marks in the field is Hurricane Ike, who has not start since winning the Grade 3 Derby Trial by 2 3/4 lengths over a muddy track on April 24.

“He came up sore in behind just before the Preakness so we just took him home and backed off him a bit,” trainer John Sadler said when asked about Hurricane Ike’s four-month layoff. “We were pointing for the West Virginia Derby but he got a little bit of a sore foot and we had to stop again. This is a tough spot to come back in but he’s got really good numbers on dirt, he’s had plenty of training, and is dead tight so we’ll just have to see how he stacks up.”

Bulldogger earned high marks, a 103 Beyer, winning a first-level allowance earlier in the meet but is lightly raced and yet to win beyond six furlongs.

In Jack’s Memory finished a distant third behind Discreetly Mine making his graded stakes debut in the Amsterdam.

Bank Merger is perfect in two starts and makes his stakes debut on Saturday.

Latigo Shore was graded stakes-placed earlier this spring but also no match for Discreetly Mine in the Amsterdam.