07/03/2008 11:00PM

Kerlan trip perfect for Get Funky


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - At six furlongs on turf, the $75,000 Robert Kerlan Memorial Handicap is perfect for likely favorite Get Funky.

"It's pretty simple," trainer John Sadler said. "He's 3 for 3 going short."

Get Funky also is the best horse entered Sunday at Hollywood Park, and a victory in the Kerlan would move him one step closer to the inaugural Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint this fall.

Ten older horses entered the Kerlan, including overnight stakes winner Canteen, 7-year-old graded winner Jungle Prince, and main-track sprinters Northern Soldier and Sailors Sunset, who both appear less effective on grass.

Meanwhile, Get Funky is a grass specialist. His 5-for-14 record includes turf wins in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby at 1 1/8 miles in 2006, and the Grade 3 Morvich Handicap on the downhill course at Santa Anita last fall.

"He can win at other distances, but maybe [six furlongs] is his best distance," Sadler said.

Get Funky finished fourth in a May 4 comeback at one mile, and though Sadler said Get Funky could stretch out this summer at Del Mar, the objective is the BC Turf Sprint, to be run on Oct. 25 down the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.

"He's 2 for 2 down the hill, so that's what we're thinking about," Sadler said.

Owner Keith Abrahams claimed Get Funky for $62,500 from his second start in 2006; he has earned most of his $507,008 bankroll since then.

Jose Valdivia is the regular rider for Get Funky, who Sadler believes benefits from the Kerlan pace scenario.

"When he runs short, he doesn't pull hard," Sadler said. "He can draft in just behind [the speed]."

The quickest front-runners include Tenga Cat, Bro Lo, and Sailors Sunset. Assuming those three cancel each other out, 121-pound topweight Get Funky would be one of the first to attack.

Canteen increased his Hollywood turf sprint record to 2 for 4 when he won a minor stakes in his most recent start, May 16. A closer who is 4 for 19 overall, Canteen will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano for trainer Neil Drysdale.