02/20/2010 12:00AM

D' Funnybone rebounds in Hutcheson


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - D' Funnybone may still have questions to answer regarding stamina, but he reaffirmed his status as a quality 3-year-old after rallying to a very professional one-length victory over A Little Warm in Saturday's at Gulfstream Park.

D' Funnybone was last seen bringing up the rear in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile while making his first start around two turns and first over an artificial surface. Trainer Rick Dutrow took his time bringing the two-time Grade 2 winner back to the races and picked the perfect spot to launch his comeback in the seven-furlong Hutcheson.

D' Funnybone, a son of D'wildcat purchased privately last summer by Paul Pompa Jr. out of Calder, benefitted from a perfectly judged ride by jockey Edgar Prado who rated the even-money favorite within easy striking distance behind early leaders Wildcat Frankie and Hear Ye Hear Ye. D' Funnybone engaged for command while four wide entering the stretch, edged clear, and then withstood a final surge from A Little Warm. Ibboyee slipped along the rail to finish another length further back in third.

D' Funnybone completed the distance in 1:22.14 over a fast track and paid $4.

"He's our little Benny the Bull," a delighted Dutrow said after the race. "He looks just like him, except for the color. Edgar said he was waiting after he made the lead, but that's fine. You always worry when they come off a bad race, so I was glad to see him run like this, especially off the bench."

Dutrow said he still isn't sure what to blame for D' Funnybone's poor effort in the Breeders' Cup.

"The race isn't as bad as it looks on paper, because Edgar did the right thing and took him in hand when he knew he wasn't grabbing the track," Dutrow said. "I'm not going to blame it on the two turns until he tries it again. I'd like to try the Florida Derby, everyone's goal is to go for the Derby, although if some of these other 3-year-olds run huge in one of the other preps that could change our mind."