02/02/2006 12:00AM

Funny Cide game in loss

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Bill Denver/EquiPhotos
Sir Greeley (right) defeats Funny Cide in Thursday's ninth at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - There wasn't joy but there certainly was a palpable sense of relief for those associated with Funny Cide following his second-place finish in a money on Thursday at Gulfstream Park.

For the first time since October 2004, Funny Cide finished in the money, but more importantly, he showed a spark of life in the one-mile race. He finished second to the stakes-winning sprinter Sir Greeley by 1 1/2 lengths while outfinishing the race's odds-on favorite, Sun King, by 1 1/4 lengths. Sir Greeley was timed in a quick 1:34.42.

"It was only his second start since July, and he had to fight hard," said Barclay Tagg, who trains Funny Cide, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2003. "I'd have rather seen him not get hit and win by five, but I'm happy."

Jack Knowlton and Dave Mahan, part of the Sackatoga Stable which owns Funny Cide, were in attendance and came down after the race to speak with Tagg and jockey Edgar Prado, who rode Funny Cide.

"He ran good, and it's not his best distance," Prado said. "He was right there with the pace, every step of the way."

Tagg said Funny Cide could make his next start in the Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap at 1 3/16 miles on March 4.