Funny Cide, Evening Attire Prep for Classic

Edited from NYRA reports
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Funny Cide breezed six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 over Belmont's fast training track with exercise rider Robin Smullen aboard. It was the gelding's final work before heading out to Santa Anita Wednesday for a run in the Breeders' Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge (gr. I).

The work started at the five-eighths pole on the training track and ended at the seven-eighths. New York Racing Association clockers caught the son of Distorted Humor in fractions of :13 1/5, :25 2/5, :37 3/5 and 1:01 2/5. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26 and a mile in 1:40.

"It was perfect," Smullen said. "Fast is not always better and on that track, I believe it was a pretty good work."

This is the second straight work for Funny Cide on the one-mile training track, which is more similar to the Santa Anita oval than the mile-and-a-half main track at Belmont.

"I was debating whether to work on the main track or the training track," Smullen said. "I'm glad I worked on the training track because the main track was too hard. The training track has a nice cushion."

Trainer Barclay Tagg was not on hand to view the work. He is in Canada to saddle Macaw in the Canadian International (Can-IT). Smullen admitted it was strange to work the Sackatoga Stable runner while Tagg was not present.

"I walked home with the exercise rider, who was on the pony, and I had no idea what I went in, but I knew it was an awesome work," she said. "One of the best I've ever had on him. He was relaxed and I knew the last eighth was faster than the first eighth. He got tired last week and this week he did not get tired."

Today's work was Funny Cide's seventh since the Haskell. After three sharp works in September and early October, the gelding was successfully slowed down by Tagg and Smullen breezing a mile in 1:38 a week ago, then 1:13 3/5 this morning.

"Everything worked like clockwork going into the Kentucky Derby and everything has worked like clockwork going into this race," Smullen said. "Sure you'd like to have a race in him, but we didn't have that luxury."

Funny Cide has not run since finishing third in the August 3rd Haskell.
"He's as ready to run as he's ever been without having a race in him," Smullen said. "Is it good enough to win the Breeders' Cup Classic? I don't know."

Smullen believes the most important factor for Funny Cide will be how the race sets up.

"If he relaxes off the pace, he's going to be fit enough to be right there," she said. "If he does not relax off the pace, he might get a little tired."

Funny Cide is scheduled to have Monday morning off and will return to the track Tuesday and Wednesday for gallops before he ships. He could school in the paddock at Santa Anita Thursday afternoon.

Also working toward the Classic over the Belmont training track was 5-year-old gelding Evening Attire, who went five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 with exercise rider Danny Vogt aboard. He finished fourth behind Volponi in last year's Classic.

"I told Danny to go in 1:01 and he went in 1:01 on my watch," said trainer Pat Kelly. "It was just what I wanted. He works kinder on the training track. He works too fast on the big track."

Kelly's main concern is the heat forecast for the Los Angeles area this week with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.

"I looked at the weather and there doesn't seem like there will be much change there," Kelly said. "I don't know how he's going to handle that. It's California-it's going to be sunny, warm and dry."

Throughout his career, Evening Attire has seemingly done his best running in cooler temperatures and over wet tracks.