08/17/2003 11:00PM

Funny Cide may enter


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Barclay Tagg repeated once again Monday morning that Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide is "highly unlikely'' to run in Saturday's Travers, but Tagg and his owners did not discount the possibility of entering him in the race when post positions are drawn on Wednesday.

"I might, if they want to go for the money,'' said Tagg, noting that it would cost $5,000 to enter Funny Cide in the Travers.

"We wouldn't rule that out,'' said Dave Mahan, one of the 10 members of Sackatoga Stable, which owns Funny Cide. "It's possible.''

That $5,000 would buy the Funny Cide connections three more days to see if Funny Cide's condition improves or one of the top contenders drops out.

Tagg said Monday there was no change in Funny Cide's condition. The most recent blood test on Funny Cide revealed a slightly elevated white blood count. Tagg planned on taking another blood test on Monday. He said he might work the horse Tuesday if the results come back in time. On Monday, Funny Cide jogged around the Clare Court track.

Tagg said he would wait until the last possible minute to make a decision. Post positions for the Travers were to be drawn at a press breakfast at 11:10 a.m. Wednesday at the At The Rail Pavilion

"I'm not going to run him against those horses unless he's 100 percent,'' Tagg said. "My guess is he's at 95 percent.''

Provided Funny Cide does not run, the Travers would most likely have a five-horse field headed by Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker (Jerry Bailey), Jim Dandy winner Strong Hope (John Velazquez), Belmont and Swaps runner-up Ten Most Wanted (Pat Day), 2002 Hopeful winner Sky Mesa (Edgar Prado), and Ohio Derby winner Wild and Wicked (Shane Sellers).

Trainer Shug McGaughey said he would not enter Congrats, the third-place finisher in the Jim Dandy, in the Travers. McGaughey does not believe Congrats is ready for a race like the Travers.

Trainer Christophe Clement said he is leaning against running Dynever in the Travers, but would look at the prospective field on Tuesday before deciding. Dynever, who won the Lone Star Derby, most recently finished second, beaten a neck by Soto, in the Grade 3 West Virginia Derby on Aug. 9.

Ten Most Wanted arrived from Southern California on Sunday and jogged once around Saratoga's main track on Monday. Empire Maker simply walked trainer Bobby Frankel's shed row while Wild and Wicked galloped 1 1/2 miles over Saratoga's main track. Wild and Wicked, who finished fourth in the Haskell, is expected to put in his final workout on Wednesday morning.