10/06/2009 11:00PM

High hopes for Homeboykris


ELMONT, N.Y. - About the same time D' Funnybone arrived in trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.'s barn came another 2-year-old from south Florida named Homeboykris.

"I liked Homeboykris better," Dutrow said. "I still do."

Considering D' Funnybone has won the Saratoga Special and the Futurity - both Grade 2 stakes - since Dutrow has had him, and is heading for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, that's a mighty big statement. Homeboykris, meanwhile, will make his first start for Dutrow in Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne at Belmont Park against Hopeful winner Dublin and four or five others.

Homeboykris was purchased privately by owner Louis Lazzinnaro following a 3 1/4-length maiden win at Calder on July 11, the same day D' Funnybone finished second in the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes. Lazzinnaro, through bloodstock agent Nick Sallusto, purchased the horse from owner Brenda Tabraue and trainer Pablo Andrade. Lazzinaro was part owner of Vineyard Haven, last year's Champagne winner.

Dutrow said Homeboykris had developed a corn on his foot when he first arrived and then popped a splint bone, which forced Dutrow go lightly with Homebykris in his training. Still, Dutrow said, the gelding trained every day.

Homeboykris wasn't pushing off the right way in his workouts, leading Dutrow to do some hind work on the gelding. But in the last month, Homeboykris has impressed Dutrow in his training and he's looking for a big effort from the son of Roman Ruler on Saturday.

"I liked him the minute I saw him," Dutrow said. "He just had to clear his way through different issues but was training good and then those got behind him. He's trained really good the last three or four weeks. People are going to like him."

It would seem like a tall order to run a horse in the Grade 1 Champagne off a maiden win that came three months ago, but Dutrow is confident the horse is sitting on a big race.

"The reason we're running in the Champagne is because we're afraid he might have a freakish race in him and we don't want to waste it in a one-other-than," Dutrow said. "I know he's very good right now, he's fresh."

As he did with D' Funnybone prior to the Futurity, Dutrow shipped Homeboykris over to Belmont from Aqueduct to get accustomed to the track. Homeboykris breezed five furlongs in 1:00.72 here Monday. Edgar Prado will ride Homeboykris in the Champagne. Prado rode Vineyard Haven to victory in last year's Champagne.

Among those expected to run in the Champagne are Dublin and Aspire - the top-two finishers from the Hopeful - Discreetly Mine, and Toboggan Slide. Super Saver is possible.

D' Funnybone, who would have been favored in the Champagne, worked four furlongs in 49.11 seconds Saturday. Dutrow said D' Funnybone will stay in New York until Nov. 3 before shipping to Southern California.

Franny Freud to try Frizette

Franny Freud, who has won stakes at Woodbine and Finger Lakes in her last two starts, will take on Grade 1 company in Saturday's $400,000 Frizette for juvenile fillies.

Trainer John Terranova had the option of running Franny Freud in Friday's Alcibiades at Keeneland or the Frizette, but he is sending Negligee to the Alcibiades and opted to keep Franny Freud in New York.

"I think she deserves a shot in a Grade 1 - let's see how good she is," Terranova said. "Another reason to run here was us wanting to stay home. She's shipped for three of her last four races."

Franny Freud, a New York-bred daughter of Freud, is coming off stakes wins in the Ontario Debutante and Lady Fingers, both at six furlongs. This will be her first start at a mile.

"She couldn't be training any better," Terranova said. "I love the fact she's got all the seasoning and experience, it's an ideal time to stretch out. The unknown factor is going to be a mile with her. Every indication is positive, but you don't know till you see them do it."

Channing Hill will ride Franny Freud, replacing Cornelio Velasquez who is on Awesome Maria, the probable Frizette favorite.

Others expected to run in the Frizette are Devil May Care, Nonna Mia, Touching Beauty, and Worship the Moon.

Courageous Cat tops Jamaica

Courageous Cat, winner of three consecutive races, heads the field of 3-year-olds expected to start in Saturday's Grade 1 Jamaica scheduled for 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Courageous Cat, trained by Bill Mott, is coming off a 1 3/4-length victory in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 14.

His competition is expected to include Get Stormy, Grassy, Straight Story, and Take the Points. Armstrong Mill is possible.