07/30/2004 11:00PM

The Cliff's Edge serves notice to Jim Dandy foes

The Cliff's Edge, with Maxine Correa aboard, preps for his start in next Sunday's Jim Dandy by working five furlongs in 1:00.22 Saturday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The Cliff's Edge completed his preparations for next Sunday's Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes with a superb five-furlong workout on Saturday timed in 1:00.22 over Saratoga's main track.

The Cliff's Edge, under Maxine Correa, began his work 3 1/2 lengths behind stablemates Broadway View and Discover the Glory and finished about three lengths in front. A private clocker who watched The Cliff's Edge train in Kentucky this spring said the work was reminiscent of the one The Cliff's Edge put in prior to his win in the Blue Grass Stakes.

"That's what Maxine said, that's what [assistant] Reynaldo [Abreu] said, that's what I say,'' Zito said. "I'm really happy with what went on today. I'm excited about next week; it's a stepping-stone to the Travers.''

The Cliff's Edge has come a long way since the middle of May, when he suffered a bruised foot that kept him out of the Preakness. He came back to finish second behind Medallist in the Dwyer Stakes.

The Jim Dandy lost a starter when trainer Eric Guillot shipped Britt's Jules to West Virginia in the middle of the night. He will now run in Saturday's $600,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Race Track. Guillot decided to scrap his Jim Dandy plans because he believed the race was coming up too tough for Britt's Jules, who finished second in the Leonard Richards at Delaware Park on July 18.

Swingforthefences, the Iowa Derby winner, worked six furlongs in 1:12.97 and may have punched his ticket to the Jim Dandy. Trainer Rick Violette said he will decide between the Jim Dandy and West Virginia Derby as to which is the best race to get Swingforthefences to the Travers.

"I would love to run here, but in order to get to the Travers he needs to run big wherever he runs,'' Violette said.

Roses in May strong in Whitney prep

Roses in May worked sharply on Saturday here for the Whitney, to be run here next Saturday. With Edgar Prado in the saddle, Roses in May covered five furlongs in 59.39 seconds, handily, over the fast main track before the renovation break. The work was the second-fastest of 51 at the distance.

Roses in May is undefeated in three starts this year, including his most recent race, the Grade 3 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Prairie Meadows on July 3.

Dale Romans, Roses in May's trainer, said the 4-year-old has developed into a stronger runner this year than last. In his stakes debut in last year's Grade 2 Jerome Handicap, Roses in May finished sixth. He went to the farm after the Jerome and resurfaced in April at Keeneland and won a second-level allowance race by 12 lengths. Twice this year, Roses in May, has earned a 113 Beyer Speed Figure.

"He had a couple of problems after the Jerome and needed time off," Romans said. "He grew up more and has really excelled. Running in the [Cornhusker] was a big step forward for him because those were quality horses. The Whitney is another big step for him; if he can compete with these horses, he can compete with anybody."

Peace Rules, Seattle Fitz work for Whitney

After the harrowing break on the main track, Peace Rules worked five furlongs in 1:01.50. Following the work, Peace Rules's trainer, Bobby Frankel, said he was pleased with the move. "It was very good," said Frankel, who won last year's Whitney with Medaglia d'Oro.

Brooklyn Handicap winner Seattle Fitz readied for his Whitney duel with Peace Rules by working five furlongs in 1:01.40 Saturday morning. It is by design that Seattle Fitz has not run since the Brooklyn on June 12, though his connections were tempted by the Hollywood Gold Cup in early July.

"It's not just about one race, it's about a fall campaign,'' trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "This is the start of the fall. Win or lose we have more races to go than just the Whitney. It's a very tough race.''

Others pointing to the Whitney are Bowman's Band, Gygistar, Midway Road, Newfoundland, Perfect Drift, and Yessirgeneralsir.

Prado gets that Funny feeling

In case Jose Santos is not fully recovered from his broken right arm by Aug. 22, Edgar Prado will ride Funny Cide in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap, trainer Barclay Tagg said. Saturday, Prado got acquainted with last year's 3-year-old champion, guiding Funny Cide through a five-furlong workout in 59.31 seconds over Saratoga's main track.

"He felt good underneath me, he did everything okay, I was very happy with the work,'' Prado said. "I tried to slow him down the first part and he came back to me, and at the top of the stretch he switched his leads and gave me another gear.''

Funny Cide is nominated to Saturday's Whitney, but Tagg said he would only run if that race fell apart, which is unlikely.

* Ramon Dominguez, the second-leading rider in the nation in wins, took off his six mounts at Saratoga on Saturday, including Forest Music in the Test, due to a bruised right shoulder sustained in a fall at Delaware Park on Wednesday. Dominguez was scheduled to meet with his orthopedic surgeon to determine if he may have a hairline fracture.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson