Dontae to get the better of Dysfunctional once more
ANTHONY NUNES' DONTAE has been eased in the handicaps and gets a more relaxed pace, now stretched out at 10 furlongs after being rushed off his legs last week Saturday at seven and a half, trying to chase LUNAR ROCKET and JAMAI RAJA down the backstretch.
Having to chase a six-furlong split of 1:12.2, breaking from post-position three, carrying topweight 126lb in a near-maximum 15-horse field, took a toll on DONTAE, who made a threatening move into third place early in the stretch run but flattened out after.
Another familiar Nunes-Wayne DaCosta showdown pits four-year-old DONTAE against DYSFUNCTIONAL, a versatile five-year-old blessed with good pace and stamina, especially when left alone on the lead. However, whereas DYNSFUNCTIONAL has gone up in the scale by eight pounds after stepping two classes down to beat superficial $1 million claimers going seven and a half furlongs on July 8, DONTAE has shed six pounds after placing fourth behind JAMAI RAJA in overnight allowance.
The disparity of the races is obvious by the quality of opposition either horse faced. Whereas DONTAE was taken outside his comfort zone, DYNSFUNCTIONAL had the very easy task of brushing aside QUEEN OF BAGDAD, who returned on Wednesday and was never a factor, at odds of 11-1, running in an $850,000 claiming event.
DONTAE's two previous races were against grade one and open allowance company. Returning from a three-month lay-up, he lost by two and three quarter lengths behind HOUDINI'S MAGIC in the Viceroy Trophy on June 30 at nine furlongs. Prior to that run, he went down battling by a half-length to PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in the Bonnie Blue Flag on March 24.
DONTAE had no problem beating DYSFUNCTIONAL at seven and a half furlongs on March 18, running a pound lighter, the exact weight difference with which they renew rivalry.
However, the distance is definitely in DONTAE's favour, especially with BIBLICAL LEGEND expected to at some point make a bid for the lead, upsetting any plans DYSFUNCTIONAL has of going all the way.