05/20/2009 11:00PM

Sadler hopes to get rolling with Get Funky

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Cooler weather into the holiday weekend at Hollywood Park does not apply to trainer John Sadler. He forecasts a warming trend for his stable, starting Thursday when stakes winner Get Funky returns in the $60,000 El Segundo Stakes.

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Get Funky has not raced in seven months, but Sadler assures, "He is ready to go," even if five furlongs on turf is short.

"We thought it was short in the Green Flash last summer, and he got there," Sadler said, referring to a Del Mar stakes win at five furlongs.

The Thursday card is only an appetizer for Sadler, the second-leading trainer at the meet. If he's right about the weekend, Sadler might close the gap. Doug O'Neill entered the week with 13 wins, Sadler has eight.

"We're starting to get a little momentum," Sadler said after winning two on Saturday. "We have one of the better barns, and should be starting to roll going into Memorial Day - Get Funky on Thursday, then Whatsthescript and Black Mamba all coming up."

Whatsthescript returns Monday in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile; Black Mamba runs May 30 in the Grade 1 Gamely. On Thursday, Sadler starts three - career maiden Eisenheim in race 1, Get Funky, and New Zealand import Xpectation in race 7.

In the race-2 El Segundo, Get Funky is the class of the field. But he is not a slam dunk. Euroglide is in top form; the 8-year-old Jungle Prince loves the course and has worked well since his comeback; Sky Cape fits; Sea of Pleasure and Bamaha Breeze add speed.

While Get Funky may go favored, the price will be higher on Xpectation, who makes her U.S. debut in race 7 after winning 1 of 8 in New Zealand. The past two years, Sadler and Doubledown Stables have been deadly with Down Under imports, winning first out with Angus, Belmont Cat, Black Mamba, Crossing the Line, and Parmar Day.

To win race 7, Xpectation must catch a potentially loose-on-the-lead Linda Lou. If the six-furlong turf sprint unfolds as expected, Richard Mandella-trained Linda Lou should be long gone.

And while Sadler believes he can give O'Neill a battle for the training title, it is hard to catch a moving target. O'Neill has three well-meant runners Thursday - first-time starter Love's House in race 3, Justice is Brief in race 5, and dropper Mi Rey in race 8.