02/13/2010 1:00AM

Munnings likely won't go if it's wet


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Anybody planning to be outside around the Hallandale Beach area on Saturday would be best advised to bring an umbrella along. That's because Munnings is scheduled to run that afternoon in the $150,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship. The Grade 2 dash is one of two graded stakes to be decided on the card, along with the for fillies and mares.

Munnings has become an equine version of the "rainmaker" over the past six months. A son of Speightstown, Munnings ran over sloppy tracks in each of his last three starts at 3, finishing third on all three occasions in the Grade 1 Haskell, King's Bishop, and Vosburgh.

Munnings was scheduled to make his 2010 debut here last month in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector but once again awoke to heavy downpours the morning of the race. Trainer Todd Pletcher had vowed not to run Munnings again over a wet racetrack and held true to his word by scratching the two-time Grade 2 winner.

If Munnings can finally escape the wet-weather jinx, he'll start as the heavy favorite and highweight under 122 pounds in the seven-furlong Sprint Championship. Javier Castellano will deputize for regular rider John Velazquez, who will be in Tampa to ride Rule for Pletcher in the Sam Davis Stakes.

"There is some rain in the forecast again Saturday, but hopefully it won't get to the point where we'll have to make a decision," said Pletcher. "But we've pretty much decided enough is enough with the wet tracks, we're not going to throw that at him again, so if it came to that we'd take him out again."

Even though Munnings has been idle since his third-place finish behind champion sprinter Kodiak Kowboy in the Vosburgh on Oct. 3 and missed his scheduled start in the Mr. Prospector, Pletcher expects Munnings to run well on Saturday.

"I don't anticipate this will be his best race of the year, but I'm looking forward to him going over and running a very good race," said Pletcher.

Munnings' toughest challenge could come from You and I Forever if he goes. You and I Forever extended Munnings' stablemate Quality Road before settling for second money in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope on opening day.

You and I Forever is one of two horses trainer Marty Wolfson entered in the Sprint Championship, along with Motovato, winner of Calder's Grade 3 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap in his 2009 finale.