Funny Guy laughs all the way to the winner’s circle in NYSS Times Square

Saturday, April 20th, 2019

NYRA/Susie Raisher

By Sarah Mace

Gatsas Stables, R. A. Hill Stable and Swick Stable’s Funny Guy, a bay colt by Big Brown, got the chance to laugh all the way to the winner’s circle Saturday after a game victory in the final stakes race of Aqueduct’s spring meet, the Times Square division of the New York Stallion Stakes series. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint for sophomore offspring of eligible New York sires was worth $200,000, double last year’s purse, and drew a robust field of nine.

Let go at odds of 13-1, Funny Guy settled in midpack while Hushion struck the front, joined to his outside by two-time stakes winner Blindwillie McTell. By the time a quarter ticked by in 22.21, Hushion had the lead to the himself. Funny Guy chased in sixth between horses in the second flight.

Midway around the far turn Hushion was again challenged by Blindwillie McTell, and late in the bend Funny Guy angled out for clear running room making his way into the third. As Blindwillie McTell worked to erode Hushion’s lead in upper stretch, Funny Guy advanced inexorably to their outside.

With a furlong to go and Hushion tiring, it came down to a ding-dong battle between a tenacious Blindwillie McTell and Funny Guy, who was determined to prevail.

The pair raced head-and-head until the final sixteenth, when Funny Guy finally wore his rival down and inched away to a three-quarter-length score in a final time of 1:18.29 over the sloppy (sealed) going. Six and three-quarters lengths further back Thorny Tale collected the show money. [VIDEO REPLAY]

NYRA/Elsa Loreiul

Winning jockey Rajiv Maragh said, “Everything went well. He broke well and I wanted him to be close, but the speed went to the front and developed in front of him. We fell into a nice tracking trip and every time I asked him, he kept inching closer. I felt like he was going to give me a good trip straightening up and he powered home in the stretch.”

Trainer John Terranova said, “This was a step up in class. He always had trained like a good horse and like a good New York-bred. Today, he handled the track fine. He’s matured physically so we can do more with him. The more we do, the better he gets. He just has a good presence about him.”

Funny Guy broke his maiden last December 22 at second asking, eking out a neck win going 6 1/2 furlongs in the mud. Making his stakes debut in the Rego Park on January 13, he tired after attending a wicked pace. Returning in mid-March following a brief freshening, Funny Guy ran a solid second in a first-level state-bred allowance after being somewhat compromised at the break. From two wins and second in five starts, the 3-year-old has earned $160,270.

Bred by Hibiscus Stable, Funny Guy brought only $10,000 as a yearling when purchased by RSB Farm at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale. Gatsas Thoroughbreds bought him for $45,000 the following year at the OBS spring sale.

He is one of seven winners from seven foals to start out of Heavenly Humor (Distorted Humor). The Kentucky-bred multiple stakes winner was purchased by Hibiscus Stables with Funny Guy in utero at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton New York fall mixed sale for $25,000. Heavenly Humor is also the dam of Ontario-bred stakes winner Super Humor.

Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, who currently sits atop the New York sire standings, stands at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions for a 2019 fee of $5,000.

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