02/06/2013 2:14PM

Santa Anita: Funny Gal to find out Friday if she's stakes-worthy


ARCADIA, Calif. – The former maiden claimer Funny Gal may be a stakes runner by the end of next month.

Trained by John Sadler, Funny Gal starts in a $58,000 allowance race for California-bred 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita on Friday. The six-furlong race could lead to a start in the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for California-bred 3-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs here March 30.

Funny Gal drew the outside in a field of seven Friday, a post that was a relief to Sadler. The filly started from the rail in an optional claimer over 5 1/2 furlongs Jan. 10, and she had traffic trouble, Sadler said.

“She was in the one hole and had nowhere to go,” Sadler said. “She did run third and was only beaten [three] lengths. She has a good draw for Friday. She’s run well for us.”

Owned by Judi Partridge and the Batchelor Family Trust, Funny Gal was claimed for $32,000 from a maiden race over about four furlongs at Fairplex Park in September. She won a $30,000 claimer for maidens here in October and a starter allowance at Betfair Hollywood Park in November before the Jan. 10 loss.

Sadler has two runners in Friday’s seventh race. Majestic Jewel won a maiden race on the hillside turf course against open company Jan. 13 and makes her first start on Santa Anita’s dirt track.

“I would have preferred to run her down the hill, but she works well on the dirt,” Sadler said. “Sometimes she gets nervous, but hopefully we’ve gotten her settled.”

Majestic Jewel races for breeder Lee and Susan Searing. A filly by Cindago, she needed four races to beat maidens.

The field includes one stakes-placed runner in Awesome Annie, who was second as a maiden in the Cinderella Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over 5 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park last June. Trained by Walther Solis, Awesome Annie has 1 win in 10 starts. She was second in the same race as Funny Gal on Jan. 10 racing near the lead throughout.

Trainer Mike Mitchell has a formidable runner in Hail Mary, a filly by Old Topper who races for breeder Nick Alexander. In her only start, Hail Mary won a maiden race for California-breds over six furlongs on a wet-fast track Jan. 26, pulling away through the stretch to win by 4 1/2 lengths.