Funny Cide in Brilliant Saratoga Drill

(from Saratoga notes)
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide turned heads at Saratoga Thursday morning when he put in a powerful one-mile workout in 1:37 4/5 on the main track with jockey Edgar Prado aboard.

The 4-year-old New York-bred gelding is preparing for the $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 10 furlongs on Aug. 22.

Starting at the five-furlong pole, Funny Cide went in the fractions of :11 2/5, :23, :59 2/5, 1:12 2/5, 1:25 and 1:37 4/5 before galloping out an extra furlong in 1:52.

"My goal was to have him work a mile in 1:40," trainer Barclay Tagg said. "Edgar let him do his own thing out there. Having Funny Cide finish the way he did this morning gives me an indication of where he's at. He looked very good doing it."

With regular jockey Jose Santos out of action with a hairline fracture in his right arm, Prado is likely to get the assignment on last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) winner. Prado has been on the gelding for three workouts and has been pleased in the way that Funny Cide has cooperated.

"I liked this work and my first work with him very much," Prado said. "I wasn't looking at how fast he went. Rather, I was looking at the way he did it. He gets away well and is very relaxed. I let him come back to me and take me for the ride."

"He's a really kind horse until you get on him. That's when he wants to run. He has also showed his strength and determination to run in his last two races."

Though beaten both times, Funny Cide finished gamely in his recent starts. He was beaten a head in the Massachusetts Handicap (gr. II) at Suffolk Downs and a neck in the Suburban Handicap (gr. I). His two victories this year have been the Excelsior Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct and an allowance race at Gulfstream Park.