Saturday, June 18, 2011

On the Comeback Trail...

--Steve Sherack

Looking for some fresh runners that can make an immediate impact from the sidelines? Keep an eye out for Arresting Officer (c, 3, Officer--Gold Roses, by Seeking the Gold) and Funny Sunny (f, 3, Sharp Humor--Sunny Laugh, by Relaunch).

The California-bred Arresting Officer immediately caught the eye with a sharp debut maiden win going six furlongs for trainer Mike Mitchell at the Oak Tree meeting in late October (TDN Video). Away from the stalls slowly, the two-year-old was rushed up along the inside to challenge for the lead through an opening quarter in :22.44. With Joe Talamo aboard, the chestnut rebroke in the stretch and drew off to win in style by a geared-down 5 3/4 lengths.

Backed at 4-5 while negotiating an extra furlong in the California Breeders' Champion S. at Santa Anita Dec. 26, Arresting Officer was parked out four wide through a half mile in a snappy :44.39. He gained the lead at the top of the straight and began to edge clear in the stretch, but just didn’t have quite enough left in the tank to hold off a late rally to his inside and got tagged by a half-length (TDN Video).

Subsequently transferred to Richard Mandella, Arresting Officer has posted five workouts at Santa Anita since, including a five-furlong move in 1:00 4/5 June 9 and a sharp six-furlong drill in 1:12 June 15. The $47,000 KEESEP yearling graduate is owned by S N R Investments LLC.

Amanda Pope went to $380,000 to acquire Funny Sunny from WinStar’s draft at the Keeneland November sale following a smart debut win at Hoosier Park for conditioner Richard Budge Oct. 13. A good second to Oh Carole (Unbridled’s Song) while making her first start for the Bob Hess Jr. barn in a Gulfstream allowance Jan. 30 (TDN Video), the gray’s purchase price looked like a bargain in her next attempt in Hallandale Feb. 25.

Chasing in second through an opening quarter in :22.33 in that first-level allowance, Funny Sunny gained command as they turned for home and opened daylight in the stretch after a couple of taps from Kent Desormeaux’s whip to score by 10 3/4 lengths, good for a 95 Beyer Speed Figure (TDN Video). Missing in action since, Funny Sunny has breezed twice at Belmont Park, posting a three-furlong bullet in :36 June 7 and an easy five-furlong move in 1:03 2/5 June 13.

Check back with this blog for future updates as these two promising sophomores near their return to the races.

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