Sakatoga Stable's Funny Cide walloped nine other rivals to win the $83,975 Bertram F. Bongard for 2-year-old New York-breds Sunday at seven furlongs at Belmont. His nine-length victory came under a hand ride in 1:22 4/5 on a fast main track."That's' the way you like to see them win," said trainer Barclay Tagg. "I thought he could win the race; I'm a very conservative guy. You never know until they get hooked. For a youngster, that was good time."Funny Cide returned $7.90 to win.
One race earlier, Chester and Mary Broman's Beautiful America won the Bongard's filly counterpart, the $84,475 Joseph A. Gimma, after racing with a sharp early pace, then drawing off for a 2 ½-lenth victory in 1:25 1/5.Funny Cide and Beautiful America are expected to run in the Sleepy Hollow and Maid of the Mist, respectively, the two $100,000 juvenile races on New York Showcase Day Oct. 19. That is good news for jockey Jose Santos, who rode both horses to victory on Sunday.Funny Cide was nothing short of spectacular. The Distorted Humor gelding broke his maiden in his first start here on Sept. 8 and win by 14 ¾ lengths. In the Bongard, he again took Santos on a joy ride. "I worked him three times before he ever ran and I knew he was going to be a nice horse," Santos said. "His debut was great. I actually worked him the other day (Sept. 19), and he ran off with me. We were supposed to go in :49 - we went in :47 2/5 and I was standing up. He's ready to go a mile. He can beat open company."
According to Tagg, Funny Cide will be freshened after the Sleepy Hollow to prepare for an open company winter campaign in Florida.
After breaking her maiden at first asking at Saratoga, Beautiful America, a Dixie Brass filly, had run third against males in the New York Breeders' Futurity on Sept. 2. Back in against members of her own sex, she was a standout, yet paid a generous $10.40 for each $2 win ticket."We ran her against the boys last time, because you never know what can happen in a race. If someone got sick or was unlucky, she should could have won," said trainer Ramon "Mike" Hernandez. "You could see today that she is very handy and professional. She always acts very good. She does things like an older horse."(Chart, Equibase)