09/28/2004 11:00PM

Funny Cide most likely staying put

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Humaita, winning the Glens Falls last out, is one of two horses Graham Motion will send in the Flower Bowl.

ELMONT, N.Y. - A scheduled work by Funny Cide was postponed because of a wet track Wednesday and was rescheduled for Thursday. On Saturday, will probably run in Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

On Wednesday, trainer Barclay Tagg said he was "leaning toward" starting Funny Cide in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup rather than the $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup the same day. Entries will close for the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Hawthorne Gold Cup on Thursday.

"It looks more promising to stay here without Peace Rules," Tagg said in reference to the announcement of Peace Rules's retirement Tuesday. "I'm leaning toward here, although the race [at Hawthorne] looks like an easier race."

Tagg preferred to work Funny Cide on Wednesday, which would have fit Funny Cide's customary work pattern, but he said the one-day delay wasn't a big deal. Tagg said the main track, which was listed as muddy after heavy rain on Tuesday, was "wavy" in spots, particularly in the stretch. There were no listed workers on the main track.

"I don't know if it makes much of a difference doing it a day later," Tagg said. "We just need something so he can breathe hard. With him, his half-mile works usually mean he gets a pretty good five-eighths."

In his last start, Funny Cide finished second to Evening Attire in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 22.

With a small field expected in the 1 1/4-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, trainer Allen Jerkens said he is considering running Bowman's Band if the number of runners doesn't swell beyond six. The expected starters are Funny Cide, Evening Attire, Love of Money, The Cliff's Edge, and Domestic Dispute.

If Jerkens runs Bowman's Band in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, it means he will miss the $500,000 Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 8. Last year, in his first start for Jerkens, Bowman's Band won the Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup. In his last start, Bowman's Band finished a well-beaten third in the Grade 1 Woodward Handicap here Sept. 11.

"We're kicking it around, and he's ready just in case we run here," said Jerkens, who has won three Jockey Club Gold Cups.

Tycoon set for Joe Hirsch

Tycoon, who will run Saturday in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, was settling in nicely at Belmont Park on Wednesday, the day after he was released from quarantine at Aqueduct.

Tycoon, a 3-year-old son of Sadler's Wells, arrived in New York on Sunday from Ireland. Trained by Aidan O'Brien at his Ballydoyle training center, Tycoon finished third in the Group 1 St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster on Sept. 11.

The last time a 3-year-old won the Turf Classic, which was renamed this year in honor of retired Daily Racing Form columnist Joe Hirsch, was 1994, when Tikkanen won.

T. J. Comerford, a traveling lad for O'Brien, accompanied Tycoon to New York. Tycoon is 1 for 8 in his career and has a tough task ahead of him Saturday.

"It's amazing he hasn't won a Group 1 yet," Comerford said. "I just know he has it in him. He ran very well in the St. Leger, and I'm sure he is even better than that."

Jamie Spencer will ride Tycoon, who will face Grade 1 winners Kicken Kris, Kitten's Joy-another 3-year-old- Magistretti, and Polish Summer. Maktub, who finished second in a Group 2 in Turkey in his last start, arrived from Europe with Polish Summer early Wednesday morning. Request for Parole is expected to be entered in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, but will only run if the turf is firm.

Motion sends a pair in Flower Bowl

Trainer Graham Motion will saddle two runners in Saturday's Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational, Film Maker and Humaita.

Humaita, the least accomplished of the Motion runners, won a division of the Grade 3 Glens Falls at 1 3/8 miles in her last start at Saratoga on Sept. 5. Film Maker, a Grade 1 winner, finished third in the other division of the Glens Falls in her first start beyond 1 1/8 miles.

"Film Maker got a little unlucky; the slow pace didn't help her," Motion said. "She obviously handled the distance. Had Humaita not won the Glens Falls, we might have felt differently about running in the Flower Bowl, but she really likes the distance and deserves a shot."

Humaita was an alternate invitee to the Flower Bowl, which will be run at 1 1/4 miles on the inner turf.

Wonder Again, Riskaverse, Commercante, Moscow Burning, and Aubonne are the other expected starters.

Field looks open in feature

The best race on Friday's card is a $100,000-75,000 claimer for male sprinters. The seventh race, worth $48,000, drew an evenly matched field of six runners, including stakes winners Here's Zealous and Papua.

Here's Zealous seeks his first win since the Grade 3 Gravesend at Aqueduct in 2001. Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., Here's Zealous has been running in some tough spots this year and was very sharp in a three-furlong work at Aqueduct earlier this month.

Edgar Prado rides Here's Zealous, who drew post 6. The outside post in the six-furlong race should allow Here's Zealous to sit off the speed to his inside, mainly Spooky Mulder.

Spookly Mulder has been in terrific form and is coming off a half-length defeat at Monmouth in his last start. Spooky Mulder has a win and a second in two starts at Belmont. Aaron Gryder rides Spooky Mulder from post 2.

After several unsuccessful route races, Private City won a six-furlong race here in his last start, Sept. 10, and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 105. Trained by Allen Jerkens, Private City has done his best running at Belmont. Jose Lezcano rides from post 1.

Secret Run has been placed in some difficult spots this year, but fits well in this field.

Mighty David, second to Private City, is ascending the claiming ladder and is in top form.

Papua prefers Aqueduct's inner track.