04/07/2011 3:36PM

Sunshine State has rematch of Coffee Boy and D’ Funnybone


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Coffee Boy and D’ Funnybone first crossed paths in the Grade 2 Carry Back last summer at Calder. The pair will square off for the second time Sunday at Gulfstream Park under more modest conditions in the $60,000 Sunshine State overnight stakes, a seven-furlong dash restricted to Florida-breds.

Coffee Boy registered a major upset when he rallied to a one-length decision over the 1-9 D’ Funnybone in the Carry Back. Both horses have started just once since. Coffee Boy returned seven months later to finish a tiring sixth in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship here earlier this winter. D’ Funnybone was stopped on after finishing a dull seventh and last in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop on Aug. 28.

“He got very tired in his first start back,” trainer Marty Wolfson said of Coffee Boy’s effort in the Sprint Championship. “He should move forward from that race. He’s had four good works since then, but if D’ Funnybone is on his game he’ll be tough. We beat him in the Carry Back, but Calder is a very tough place to ship into and run over that track.”

D’ Funnybone was scheduled to run last Sunday in the Sir Shackleton overnight stakes, but trainer Rick Dutrow scratched his four time Grade 2 winner because of a minor foot issue. But Dutrow said he’s good to go in what will be a much softer spot on Saturday.

“He’s training good, he’s ready to run, I can’t fault him in any way,” said Dutrow of DFunnybone, who won both the Grade 2 Hutcheson and Swale here a year ago. “He likes this track. This is his distance. I expect him to show up.”

Dutrow offered no excuse for D’ Funnybone’s setback at the hands of Coffee Boy in the Carry Back.

“We couldn’t find anything wrong with him after that race, but his poor effort in the King’s Bishop told us it was time to stop,” said Dutrow. “His cannon bones were getting weak, so we just decided to give him some time.”

Joe Bravo will replace regular rider Edgar Prado, who returned to New York for the remainder of the spring, aboard D’ Funnybone, while Alex Solis will ride Coffee Boy for the first time in the Sunshine State.

Our Edge, who set a contested pace before tiring badly in the Sir Shackleton, will wheel back on short rest and figures to prompt the early issue in a field that also includes defending Sunshine State champion Mannington, former Grade 2 winner, How’s Your Halo, the consistent Dream Maestro, red hot It’s Never to Late and outsider Unbridled Heat.