07/04/2007 12:00AM

Funny Cide grabs inflated Wadsworth purse


Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, won his first race in a year Wednesday in the $100,000 Wadsworth Memorial Handicap at Finger Lakes in Farmington, N.Y.

Management at Finger Lakes doubled the Wadsworth purse from $50,000 in order to attract Funny Cide - and, to the chagrin of his seven rivals in the 1 1/8-mile race, it worked.

Funny Cide and jockey Alan Garcia ran in fifth place down the backstretch of the Wadsworth, four lengths behind pacesetter Johnie Bye Night, who at odds of 8-5 was the best-bet of the local horses. Johnie Bye Night set fractions of 23.71 and 47.87 seconds over a fast and sealed track and turned for home with a diminishing lead. Funny Cide began his rally on the far turn, and he and Tiger Speech moved together in midstretch to collar Johnie Bye Night. Funny Cide drew off in the middle of the track to win by three lengths, and Johnie Bye Night came back to edge Tiger Speech for second.

The victory for Funny Cide, who paid $4 as the even-money favorite, was his first since he took the Grade 3 Dominion Day at Woodbine last July 1. In six races since then, his best effort had been a fourth-place finish, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the Empire Classic at Belmont in October.

For the Wadsworth, trainer Barclay Tagg took the blinkers off Funny Cide, who ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.77. Funny Cide has now won 11 of 38 races and more than $3.5 million. A 7-year-old Distorted Humor gelding, he is owned by Sackatoga Stable.