Brisk Drill for Funny Cide

Dual Classic winner Funny Cide worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 in easy fashion Thursday morning at Palm Beach Downs. Funny Cide, a leading contender for an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old, is being pointed for the Feb. 7, $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.

The work will officially be listed as having been done "handily," but trainer Barclay Tagg said it was a breeze under regular exercise rider and assistant trainer Robin Smullen.

"He went really well," he said. "She took a good hold and was just sitting on him. The weather was perfect and he did it very comfortably. Everything's cool."

Tagg, who conditions Funny Cide for Sackatoga Stable, reiterated his desire to run the New York-bred in the Donn, adding that he would be comfortable going into the big race off a string of workouts if a prep race were unavailable.

"The Donn is our goal and I don't care how we get there, off a prep race or off workouts," he said.

He added that weather could be a factor.

"He has an upper respiratory problem and it affects him most on hot days," the trainer said. "His last two races were run on days when there was record heat."

Those last two races were Aug. 3, when he was third in the Aug. 3 Haskell Invitational (gr. I) at Monmouth Park and Oct. 25 when he ran ninth of 10 in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
"If it's a hot day, he's not going to run," he said.

The good news is Tagg's definition of "hot."

"I don't consider the 80s to be hot," he said. "I'm thinking that, if it's 95 or 98 and humid, that's 'hot.'"

The mid-winter temperature in South Florida seldom gets out of the low 80s.