Saratoga Notebook: Funny Cide 'Feeling Good'; Jetsetter Bobby Frankel; Odds On at Spa; During Stays in New York

Saratoga Notebook: Funny Cide 'Feeling Good'; Jetsetter Bobby Frankel; Odds On at Spa; During Stays in New York
Photo: Barbara D. Livingston
Barclay Tagg said Funny Cide was "feeling good" Wednesday.
Trainer Barclay Tagg was smiling Wednesday when he talked about Funny Cide.

"He's feeling good today," Tagg said. "He's still on some medication, but he's acting real good, bouncing around, pretty happy."

Funny Cide spiked a temperature of 102 Monday morning, the day after running a well-beaten third in the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner owned by Sackatoga Stable responded to the medicine and Tagg said his temperature was normal Wednesday morning.

Typically, Tagg's horses are walked for three days after a race and return to the track to gallop on the fourth day. Tagg said Funny Cide would walk again today and might be able to be taken off the antibiotics. The New York-bred gelding could return to the track as early as Friday.

The recovery improved Funny Cide's chances of running in the Travers (gr. I) on Aug. 23, though Tagg said it was far too early to think about Saratoga's marquee race.

"Certainly, we want to run him in the Travers, if we can," Tagg said. "And I don't want to give him too much time off or too much time on medication, or anything else, but I don't want him to get real sick and miss the whole fall either. You've got to guess a little bit and kind of know your horse a little bit and hope you're doing the right thing."

Tagg said he isn't under any pressure from the ownership group to make the Travers.

"They're pretty gung-ho to run, but I'm not going to run him if he's not ready," Tagg said. "They're good people. They understand you can't hurt the horse. But I know their main goal was to run him in Saratoga in the Travers. I'd love to run him in it too. I don't get many shots at the Travers.

"Going for the Triple Crown you had to run in those three. If you win the Derby you have to run in the other two if you have to carry them on your back. But I don't really want to be put in that situation. We're not just trying to win everything we can this year and retire him to stud. We'll have hopefully a long career for him."

Bobby Frankel: Jetsetter
Trainer Bobby Frankel left Saratoga Wednesday on owner Edmund Gann's private jet for a quick trip back home to California. He is scheduled to return on Friday.

Frankel, who has won 17 of the 50 grade I races run this year will try for an 18th on Saturday when Denon runs in the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. I) at Saratoga. Denon finished second to With Anticipation in the Sword Dancer last year.

Of his grade I wins, Frankel said that Medaglia d'Oro's victory over Volponi was especially satisfying because of comments made about him prior to the race by Volponi's trainer Phil Johnson.

Asked to select which grade I victory he was most improbable of Frankel said it was Milwaukee Brew's repeat victory in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).

"The way he ran. He ran a super race," Frankel said. "And he came out of the race with pneumonia. That's amazing."

Frankel said Spoken Fur's win in the Mother Goose (gr. I) was "a nice shocker."

During Stays at Spa
The Bob Baffert-trained During, who finished last in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) on Sunday, is staying in Saratoga for the time being under the care of trainer John Terranova and his wife, Tonya. The Terranovas handle Baffert's horses that are shipped to New York.

During, winner of the Swaps (gr. II), could run next in either the West Virginia Derby or the Pennsylvania Derby, Tonya Terranova said.

Baffert did not nominate Santa Catarina to the Alabama, Tonya Terranova said, and will race at Saratoga this summer.

It is possible, she said, that Baffert could be represented in other Saratoga stakes late in the meet.

"If he ends up with a couple of good 2-year-olds, he might ship one in for the Spinaway or the Hopeful," she said. I know he won with a Victory Gallop very impressively the other day. Sometimes if gets a few really nice 2-year-olds he would separate them."

Odds On at Saratoga
Beginning with Wednesday's program, wagering odds of New York Racing Association races were updated on television monitors before they appeared on the tote boards at the track.

NYRA senior vice president Bill Nader said the change was made in response to complaints of odds frequently changing on the television screen during the running of races. Nader noted that 99 percent of NYRA's customers get their information from the simulcast signal, whether or not they are at the track.

Nader said association officials decided the make the changes needed to show changing odds more quickly in the wake of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six betting scandal last year. However, it took several months to improve the technology to that made it possible to reduce the lag time of putting the updated odds on television.

AROUND THE SPA
Trainer Todd Pletcher won three more races Wednesday to stretch his meet-leading total to 18. Frankel is next with six winners. Pletcher won the trainer's title in 2002 with 19 wins... The heavy rain that fell on upstate New York this week for forced the New York Racing Association to move all three of the turf races scheduled for Wednesday to the main track. Through 13 days of the 36-day meeting, 14 of the 33 turf races have had to be switched to the dirt... Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and Acorn (gr. I) winner Bird Town is scheduled to work Thursday morning on the Oklahoma training track for trainer Nick Zito. Bird Town is being prepared for the Alabama (gr. I) on Aug. 16. Zito said Wednesday he is still considering running Bird Town's half-brother, Birdstone, in the Hopeful (gr. I) on Aug. 30. Birdstone was an impressive maiden winner on Saturday... Barclay Tagg will saddle Delaware Oaks winner Island Fashion in the Alabama for owner Jeffrey Nielsen. Tagg received the filly a few days after her victory at Delaware Park on July 19. Island Fashion was previously trained by Nick Canani, who took a private job with Michael Gill, the nation's leading owner.

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