Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable and Swick Stable's Funny Guy will stretch out in distance in his second turf start in Wednesday's $100,000 Cab Calloway division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series for state-bred sophomores going one mile over the Mellon turf course.
The John Terranova-trained son of 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown was a close second to fellow Cab Calloway-aspirant Rinaldi in the NYSSS Spectacular Bid division where he went off as the lukewarm favorite and displayed a late kick.
Funny Guy will look to notch his first victory since winning the NYSSS Times Square on April 20 at Aqueduct three starts back, garnering a career-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure after besting Blindwillie McTell, who he then lost to in the next out Mike Lee on May 27 at Belmont Park.
“He came closing for second going seven eighths,” Terranova said of his most recent effort. “We'll see how he stretches out to two turns. He handles the grass fine, he handles the dirt fine, so he's been ultra consistent. He breezed great this morning, so he's ready to go. He's looking like he's wanting a little more ground in front of him right now, so hopefully it all goes well.”
Bred in the Empire State by Hibiscus Stable, Funny Guy is out of the multiple stakes winning Distorted Humor broodmare Heavenly Humor and was a $45,000 purchase from the Ocala Breeders Sales Company's 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale last April.
He will leave from post 9 under Rajiv Maragh.
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez will look to make Dark Money a stakes winner first time off the claim for defending leading owner on the NYRA circuit Michael Dubb.
The gelded Central Banker bay was a five-length winner last out for a $40,000 tag and was formerly trained by James Ryerson. The win was his first since registering a 7 ¾ length victory in March for a $25,000 tag.
“Michael Dubb liked the horse and saw that he was improving. He thought the horse might be able to grass a little bit,” said Rodriguez. “He's been training good. We think he's good enough for that company, but he has to prove that he likes the grass.”
Dark Money, bred by Cedar Meadow, will be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr. from the rail.
Rinaldi will look for his second stakes win in only three career starts when he emerges from post 3 under Luis Saez. Owned and trained by Jimmy Bond, the Posse bay gelding stalked the pace and won the Spectacular Bid division of the NYSSS on June 23 over the Widener turf course at Belmont Park in only his second career start. His first race was a close third at 29-1 odds in a state-bred maiden special weight over the Belmont turf.
Jerold Zero's Blindwillie McTell is cross entered in the New York Derby at Finger Lakes, which is scheduled to be run Wednesday, but trainer Linda Rice could keep the Posse bay gelding in Saratoga for the Cab Calloway. Named after a well-known ragtime and blues musician, Blindwillie McTell has never finished worse than second in five career starts. He won the Mike Lee last out over Funny Guy, where he registered an 87 Beyer.
His other two stakes wins took place in the Great White Way division of the NYSSS in December and the Rego Park on January 13. Both races took place over the Aqueduct main track.
Blindwillie McTell will be guided by Jose Ortiz from post 5.
Completing the field are Dashing Dan [post 2, Kendrick Carmouche], Albie [post 4, John Velazquez], Honorable Hero [post 6, Manny Franco], Bettor Bank On It [post 7, Dylan Davis], Six Percent [post 8, Javier Castellano], and Smooth Tales [post 10, Jose Lezcano].
The Cab Calloway is slated as Race 8 on Wednesday's 10-race card. First post is 1 p.m.
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