10/19/2003 12:00AM

Funny Cide drills six furlongs


ELMONT, N.Y. - Funny Cide, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, completed his preparations for Saturday's $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Sunday by working six furlongs in 1:13.77 over the Belmont Park training track. It was a move that fueled exercise rider Robin Smullen with enthusiasm for what appears to be a monumental task when Funny Cide faces some of the best horses in training coming off an 83-day layoff.

"I feel really good," Smullen said. "The question is whether he can go out there and be competitive. Absolutely. He's as good right now as he's ever been so that should be good enough to be competitive. I don't know if it's good enough to win it coming off a three-month layoff. It's very hard to win a race like that off a three-month layoff, but I certainly think he's going to be very competitive. Who knows? If he gets lucky and everybody else doesn't."

Funny Cide warmed up on the main track where he also stood in the gate.

He was the first one on the training track shortly after 9 a.m. After backing up to the 6 1/2-furlong marker, Funny Cide turned around and broke off at the five-furlong pole. Belmont clockers caught him in fractions of 13.26 seconds, 25,57, 37.62, 1:01.40 and caught him galloping out in 1:26.06 and pulling up in 1:40.16. It was a markedly better work than last Sunday when he worked a mile in 1:38.62.

"When I pulled up I was like that's about the best work I ever had on him," Smullen said. "He was relaxed, his ears were up; I don't care too much about going off in 13-and-one because I really think the track is a little bit deep, it feels like there's a pretty good cushion."

Funny Cide has been training in equipment called draw reins and he worked in them on Sunday. Those reins are easier on Funny Cide's mouth, which have been plagued by sores during the course of the year.

"I used the draw reins so I could warm him up," Smullen said. "His mouth is completely healed. When you have to pull on his mouth too hard it opens up, with the draw reins it's like a cable, it doesn't open his mouth no matter how hard he pulls. So when I started my work I took a little hold of them and after the first eighth I let go of the draw reins and took a hold of the regular reins."

Trainer Barclay Tagg was not on hand for the work as he was in Canada where he was to saddle Macaw in Sunday's Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine.

Evening Attire has final Classic prep

Shortly after Funny Cide completed his workout, Evening Attire, who finished fourth in last year's Classic worked five furlongs in 1:00.90 over the training track under exercise rider Danny Vogt.

Clockers timed his fractions in 12.53 seconds, 24.53, 36.74 and had him galloping out in 1:15.07.

"It was perfect," trainer Pat Kelly said. "Just wanted to stretch him out a little and keep a little something in the tack for his cross country journey. We'll hope for some moisture in the track because anytime there's moisture in the track he's a happy camper."

Though the training track was labeled fast there was some moisture in it.

Other Breeders' Cup contenders working Sunday

Chapel Royal, a contender in the Juvenile, worked five furlongs in 1:00.22 under exercise rider Judy Krajewski. Chapel Royal worked in company with Wild Light, who was ridden by Angel Cordero. Chapel Royal broke off a length in front of Wild Light and finished about two in front.

"I've been breezing him by himself I just felt like I didn't want to take a shot that he might go too slow," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "I told Angel just kind of be there, let the other horse know he was there, but I didn't want him necessarily on his throat latch making him go faster than he was going to go on his own. It worked out fine."

Pletcher also worked his Juvenile Fillies contender Ashado, who went five furlongs in 1:01.03 in company with Fisher Pond. Ashado pulled away from Fisher Pond inside the eighth pole and seemed to ease up without her workmate by her side.

Before the renovation break, Balto Star, prepping for the $2 million Turf, worked five furlongs over Belmont's main track in 1:02.06 under Krajewski. Daily Racing Form timed Balto Star in fractions of 13.18 seconds, 25.34, 37.60 and caught him galloping out in 1:15.12.

Pletcher had planned to work Balto Star on the turf, but said the course was too soft.

Mezzo Soprano, Godolphin's representative in the Filly and Mare Turf, was clocked for a six-furlong move in 1:18 over the soft turf course. Daily Racing Form caught Mezzo Soprano going five furlongs in 1:04.65 carving out fractions of 13.70, 26.00, 38.78. Exercise rider Steve Childs was up for the move.

There were a triple set of orange cones, or dogs, up, forcing all turf works to the middle of the inner turf course.

Riskaverse, also pointing to the Filly and Mare Turf, was timed for six furlongs in 1:06 by Belmont clockers. Daily Racing Form caught her in 1:05.35 under exercise rider Danny Vogt.

"Just a little leg-stretcher," trainer Pat Kelly said. "I told him be careful and go slow. She's ready to go; she's been going all year."

Buy the Sport, who won the Grade 1 Gazelle Handicap, worked five furlongs in 1:01.05 in preparation for the Distaff.