03/04/2004 12:00AM

Funny Cide may follow familiar map


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Barclay Tagg has laid out a tentative spring/summer schedule that would take Funny Cide to the three tracks in which he made his mark as a 3-year-old.

Tagg said Funny Cide, winner of last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was in good order after his third-place finish in Sunday's roughly run New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds and is being pointed to the Grade 3, $200,000 Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap at Aqueduct on April 3. A year ago, Funny Cide finished second behind Empire Maker in Aqueduct's Wood Memorial.

If all goes well for Funny Cide, he would then run in the Grade 1, $500,000 Pimlico Special on May 14 and the Grade 1, $750,000 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on June 12. Of course, Funny Cide won the Derby at Churchill and the Preakness at Pimlico.

"That's another thing that fitted him into that schedule," Tagg said.

Before the New Orleans Handicap, Tagg said if Funny Cide didn't run well, he would consider shortening Funny Cide to one-turn races. But Tagg liked what he saw - especially the way Funny Cide relaxed after being forced into the rail entering the first turn - and will keep him going long. Funny Cide was only beaten three lengths by Peace Rules.

"After seeing the way he ran, I think it'd be a mistake [to shorten up]," Tagg said. "He's probably looking for more distance."

Tagg said he chose the Excelsior over the $500,000 Oaklawn Park Handicap, which takes place the same day, to avoid too much shipping.

"Oaklawn is so far away. It's a nice race and a lot of money, but New York's home, and I'd like to take care of New York, too," Tagg said. "I'd run him in New York all spring if they had the right races for him."

Intimidator has impressive work

Intimidator, one of many good-looking 3-year-old maiden winners at this meet, worked five furlongs in 58.60 seconds Thursday morning at Gulfstream. It was the fastest, by one second, of eight works at the distance.

Intimidator, who won a nine-furlong maiden race here Feb. 14, is expected to run in an entry-level allowance race, also at nine furlongs, on the Florida Derby undercard March 13.

"We were thinking about the Gotham, but this is the most logical spot," said trainer Randy Schulhofer. "He's a step behind a lot of those other horses. It won't be an easy race either way; there's lots of talent here this year.''

Schulhofer also likes the allowance because he doesn't have to shorten Intimidator up in distance. Intimidator, a son of Gone West, ran nine furlongs in a modest 1:52.66 here Feb. 14 after finishing second in a seven-furlong race Jan. 24. Intimidator earned a 78 Beyer Speed Figure in his victory.

After his maiden win, Intimidator missed a few days of training because he was knocked out, and had a few physical issues. "We nursed him along a little bit. He's good now," Schulhofer said. "He missed maybe one work."

Christine's Outlaw targets Skip Away

Christine's Outlaw, who made an eye-catching 4-year-old debut earlier this month, passed on a third-level allowance race for which he was eligible Saturday and will run in next Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Skip Away Handicap.

On Feb. 9, Christine's Outlaw won a second-level allowance by six lengths, running seven furlongs in 1:21.45 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. His connections considered several options, but landed on the Skip Away, run at 1 1/16 miles. Christine's Outlaw is 3 for 4 at Gulfstream.

"The horse seems to have an affinity for Gulfstream, he's had some near misses in a couple of graded stakes going 1 1/16 miles last year, and his last race was a standout race," said trainer George Weaver. "We decided to take a shot in the Skip Away and see how we did."

Ivanavinalot calls it quits

At about the time the field for Saturday's Grade 2 Bonnie Miss Stakes heads for the starting gate, defending champ Ivanavinalot will be getting off a van at owner-breeder Gil Campbell's farm to prepare for her new career as a broodmare.

Ivanavinalot never won another race after posting a 1 3/4-length victory over My Boston Gal in the 2003 Bonnie Miss. Ivanavinalot was retired earlier this week with a career record of six wins in 17 starts and earnings of nearly $650,000.

"For whatever reason, she just doesn't have the drive or desire to race any more," said Kathleen O'Connell, who trained Ivanavinalot throughout her career. "I could have started her once more, but that would have meant going up against fillies like Storm Flag Flying, Sightseek, and Roar Emotion in the Rampart, and I just didn't see the point in it."

Ivanavinalot won five of her six starts at 2, including a 14-length win in the final leg of the filly division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. She began her 2003 campaign with second-place finishes behind Atlantic Ocean in the Sunshine Millions Oaks at Santa Anita and Yell in the Grade 2 Davona Dale, before capturing the Bonnie Miss as the even-money favorite.

But after a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Ashland, Ivanavinalot lost her next nine starts. She ended her career with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Sabin here Feb. 15.

O'Connell said she is uncertain what stallion Ivanavinalot will be bred to this season.

O'Connell was hoping to defend her title in the Bonnie Miss with Campbell's lightly raced but promising Tiz a Dancer, but had to pass after Tiz a Dancer lost valuable training time because of a minor illness.

Tiz a Dancer won her maiden by 17 1/2 lengths at Tampa on Jan. 25. In her only other start, she finished fourth going a mile on turf.

"I love this filly," said O'Connell. "She's a lot like Ivanavinalot. She's got a world of talent and no mind. She absolutely hated the grass, but I needed to run her somewhere to keep her on schedule for the Suncoast and either the Tampa Oaks or Bonnie Miss. I wanted to cry when I heard there were only five fillies entered for the Bonnie Miss."

Chispiski looks to rebound in Hurricane Bertie

Even though Chispiski has been been beaten an average of 10 1/2 lengths in her last two starts, she will go off as the 117-pound co-highweight, along with House Party and Puerto Rican invader D'Wildcat Speed, in Sunday's Hurricane Bertie Handicap.

In her last out, Chispiski, who has won 12 of 27 starts, was knocked down leaving the gate and lost all chance in Tampa's Minaret Stakes on Jan. 3. In her 2003 finale, she finished sixth trying to stretch her speed in Calder's seven-furlong Chaposa Springs Handicap.

Chispiski and Mooji Moo figure to assure a lively pace in the 6 1/2-furlong Hurricane Bertie.

"She's doing well," said trainer Ron Spatz. "I didn't want to run her against Harmony Lodge and Randaroo in the Shirley Jones, so we sat that one out. But with those two fillies passing Sunday, we're set to run.

Trainers line up their riders

Trainers Rick Violette, Todd Pletcher, and Marty Wolfson have firmed up their rider assignments for the Tampa Bay Derby on March 14.

Violette has tabbed Edgar Prado to ride Swingforthefences, Pat Day will ride Limehouse for Pletcher, and Jose Santos will ride Zakocity for Wolfson.

Zakocity, the only one of the three with a race over the Tampa track, worked a half-mile in 50.60 seconds at Calder on Thursday. Zakocity finished third behind Kaufy Mate in Tampa's Sam F. Davis Stakes.

* Trainer Mark Hennig has tabbed Edgar Prado to ride Eddington in the Grade 2, $200,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 20.

* Rajiv Maragh, a 10-pound apprentice jockey, won his first race at Gulfstream Park when he guided 31-1 shot Express Caper ($65.20) to a front-running victory in Thursday's second race. Maragh, an 18-year-old native of Jamaica, had previously won two races at Tampa Bay Downs.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch