10/28/2009 11:00PM

Lewis weighs options for Gallant Gent

Benoit & Associates
Gallant Gent won the C.B. Afflerbaugh at Fairplex in September. His speed could be an asset if he runs in the BC Juvenile.

ARCADIA, Calf. - D' Funnybone is out of sight but very much on the mind of Gallant Gent's trainer, Craig Lewis, who admits front-runner D' Funnybone is a key factor in deciding whether Gallant Gent starts in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile or Juvenile Turf.

D' Funnybone goes in the Juvenile, and Lewis predicted, "He is going to be in front."

That is fine for presser Gallant Gent, who Lewis said, "could be in a beautiful position."

Lewis is worried that D' Funnybone's speed could compromise Gallant Gent. But If D' Funnybone caves early, Lewis said, Gallant Gent could inherit the lead.

Gallant Gent finished third with a pace-pressing trip in the Grade 1 Norfolk on Oct. 4, opening weekend of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet.

"I don't think the track was playing to his style early in the meet," Lewis said.

However, two-turn speed on Pro-Ride has held the past two weeks, giving Lewis reason to consider the $2 million Juvenile and the $1 million Juvenile Turf. A fast five-furlong grass work Wednesday by Gallant Gent (59.40 seconds) suggests he might be better on that surface.

"He worked exceptional on the grass," Lewis said. "We don't have to make the call [on which race to enter] until Tuesday."

Gallant Gent, claimed for $40,000 from his July 3 debut at Hollywood Park, has won 3 of 5. Joel Rosario would ride him in the Juvenile Turf, but Rosario is committed in the Juvenile to Dave in Dixie, currently first on the Juvenile also-eligible list.

As for D' Funnybone, trainer Rick Dutrow said Thursday by phone from New York that he came out of a Tuesday workout in good shape. D' Funnybone will have his final breeze Monday and ship Tuesday to California.

"He's doing as good as a horse can be doing," Dutrow said. "We're just hoping he likes the track."

D' Funnybone has never raced on synthetic; he has 3 wins and 1 second from 4 starts on dirt, including sprint blowouts in the Grade 2 Belmont Futurity and Grade 2 Saratoga Special.

At Santa Anita, D' Funnybone will breeze a quarter-mile through the stretch the morning of the Juvenile, a routine he started in summer.

In his final work before the Saratoga Special, D' Funnybone worked six furlongs in 1:17.65, a move Dutrow thought was too slow. To compensate, Dutrow worked D' Funnybone a quarter-mile the morning of the race. He won by more than 10 lengths. Dutrow did it again at Belmont, working D' Funnybone a quarter-mile the morning of the Futurity, which he won by 4 3/4 lengths.

"I like it, and D' Funnybone likes it, so I'm going to keep doing it," Dutrow said.