06/24/2011 12:01PM

Hastings: Funny Face just needs to repeat his last


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Funny Face looks like the one to catch in a $25,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds that will serve as Sunday’s feature at Hastings. Run at 6 1/2 furlongs, the race drew six horses, and if Funny Face comes close to repeating his last race he will be tough to beat. Post time for the first of eight races is 1:50 p.m.

Trained by Mel Snow, Funny Face set fast fractions and held on well to finish third when he ran in a first-level allowance race that included older horses June 11. Facing winners for the first time, he broke sharply and opened a two-length lead after a half mile in 45.40 seconds. His margin at the top of the stretch was down to a half-length, and he was edged late by Lornefivehundred and Rocket Roan. He lost by a head and was 4 1/2 lengths clear of the fourth horse.

Two starts back, Funny Face romped by 7 1/4 lengths in a $20,000 maiden claiming race. His last two Beyers, 68 and 74, are the two best figures in the field.

Funny Face will have to deal with a sharp and fast Mr. Collaborator, who is going for his third win in a row for trainer Troy Taylor. After finishing seventh in the Jim Coleman Province on May 7, Mr. Collaborator was dropped into a $25,000 claiming race and led from start to finish. Despite the win, Taylor dropped him again and got the same result, a front-running win for $17,500 June 12.

Funny Face and Mr. Collaborator appear to want the lead, and if an all-out duel develops, it could set up the race for Stolenotis.

Stolenotis has rallied to finish second in four straight races for $17,500 claiming this year. In his last start he couldn’t catch Mr. Collaborator, who was left alone on the lead while setting modest fractions. Stolenotis will be making his first start for trainer Patty Leaney, who claimed him on behalf of Kay and Sue Ohashi.

Hornblower won the only time he ran in a claiming race, beating Stolenotis on May 13. He was very rank when he came back in the $50,000 River Rock Casino and was out of the race after he blew the first turn while fighting his jockey. He will be wearing blinkers for the first time in his career.