05/04/2004 11:00PM

Funny Cide looks sharp for Pimlico Special


ELMONT, N.Y. - Funny Cide and Dynever, both of whom are being pointed to the Grade 1, $500,000 Pimlico Special on May 14, worked Wednesday at Belmont Park on the main track.

Funny Cide, last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:11.93, handily, over a fast track following the harrowing break. With exercise rider Robin Smullen aboard, Funny Cide's first quarter was timed in 24.30 seconds, followed by 35.60 for three furlongs and 47.30 for a half-mile. He galloped out seven furlongs 1:25.30.

Funny Cide's work was easily the fastest of four at the distance. Stakes winner Rodeo Licious, who covered five furlongs in 1:15.03, recorded the second-fastest time

On April 28, in his second work since winning the Excelsior Breeders' Cup on April 3, Funny Cide worked five furlongs in 1:00.02 over a track labeled good.

"The track was a lot a better today, although it was still a little heavy," Smullen said. "A horse broke off, like a sixteenth of a mile or little more, in front of him. I figured that horse was too far in front to catch, but by the eighth pole I thought, 'I can catch him.' I smooched [to Funny Cide], and he was past the horse by a half-length at the wire. It worked out beautifully, because I didn't know if he was getting lazy in his last work. He put out in this work, and he'll need to put out when he runs next week."

Funny Cide's trainer, Barclay Tagg, said he would probably ship Funny Cide to Pimlico the day of or the day before the Pimlico Special.

Dynever, with exercise rider Christophe Lorieul in the saddle, worked five furlongs in 1:01.93, breezing, around the same time Funny Cide worked. The clockers timed Dynever galloping out six furlongs in 1:15.

Christophe Clement, Dynever's trainer, said he was delighted with the work, which he moved up a day because of the threat of rain Wednesday night.

"It was perfect," Clement said. "He went his last quarter in 24 flat. This will be his last work before the race. I might two-minute lick him on Tuesday."

In his last start, Dynever won the Grade 3 San Bernadino Handicap at Santa Anita on April 3. The San Bernadino was Dynever's first start since he finished third in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 26.

Clement said he would not run Dynever in the Pimlico Special if the track is wet. Dynever's two worst efforts came over sloppy tracks. He finished fourth in last year's Belmont Stakes in the slop and was sixth in the Pennsylvania Derby over a rain-soaked course at Philadelphia Park.

"There is no point running on a wet track, because my horse doesn't handle it," Clement said.

Evening Attire, who is nominated to the Pimlico Special, worked five furlongs in 1:00.89 over Belmont's training track Wednesday. In his last start, Evening Attire finished a well-beaten second in the Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland behind Midway Road, who is expected to run in the Pimlico Special.

Key Deputy makes stakes debut

Key Deputy, a good-looking winner of his last start in allowance company, will make his stakes debut in Saturday's $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap for trainer Bill Mott.

A 4-year-old son of Deputy Minister, Key Deputy won a seven-furlong optional claimer at Gulfstream Park on March 6 for his fourth win in six career starts. Key Deputy set a torrid pace while under pressure and drew off to a three-length victory under Jerry Bailey. Key Deputy covered the distance in 1:21.81 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. His time was .29 second slower than Lion Tamer, the winner of the Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint later in the card.

Mott said he thought highly of Key Deputy when he was a 2-year-old. In his first start in July 2002, Key Deputy finished third and came out of the race with a stress fracture in a pastern bone. He didn't return to the races until August 2003 at Saratoga, where he won a maiden race by 9 1/2 lengths.

"He's been okay so far, but he hits a new group [Saturday]," Mott said. "I liked his last race, because he went incredibly fast early, but still finished up. When I saw those fractions I thought he would be in trouble."

Key Deputy worked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday before shipping to Belmont later in the day. He worked a half-mile in 48.40, breezing.

Jerry Bailey will have the mount aboard Key Deputy in the six-furlong Bold Ruler.

Shake You Down, the 121-pound highweight, will be the favorite in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler, which is also expected to attract First Blush, Gracious Humor, and Secret Run.

On Wednesday, First Blush breezed a half-mile in 47.43 seconds - the fastest of 61 works at the distance on the main track.

Dutrow slapped with suspension

The stewards gave trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. a 30-day suspension and fined him $1,000 for a postrace positive for clenbuterol on Starship Smokester, a winner at Aqueduct on Jan. 11. Dutrow appealed the suspension, and a stay was granted.

* Trainer Dimitrius Synnefias was fined $3,000 for the presence of mepenzolate, which is used in humans to treat ulcers, in the postrace test of Two My Son's, a winner at Aqueduct on March 20.