09/29/2002 12:00AM

Funny Cide romps in Bongard


ELMONT, N.Y. - As good as Funny Cide looked winning his debut by 14 3/4 lengths, he looked even better winning Sunday's $83,975 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park.

Funny Cide, with Jose Santos in the saddle, was a nine-length winner of the Bongard for 2-year-old New York-breds. The winner covered the seven furlongs in a quick 1:22.95 - a stakes record - over a fast track.

Spite the Devil finished second, two lengths in front of Infinite Justice. Storm Cadet, the favorite, finished fourth in the 10-horse field.

In the Bongard, Funny Cide set the pace through honest fractions and was under a hand ride in the stretch.

"I worked him three times before he ever ran and I knew he was going to be a nice horse," Santos said. "He can beat open company."

Funny Cide ($7.90) is owned by Sackatoga Stable and trained by Barclay Tagg.

A son of Distorted Humor, Funny Cide was making his stakes debut in the Bongard after winning his first start on Sept. 8 at Belmont Park.

Tagg said the tentative plan is to run Funny Cide in the $100,000 Sleepy Hollow on Oct. 19.

Beautiful America, third in the New York Breeders' Futurity when facing males in her last start, became a stakes winner in the $84,475 Joseph A. Gimma for 2-year-old fillies.

Beautiful America provided Santos with a sweep of the New York-bred stakes on Sunday's card and his fifth winner overall.

Beautiful America stalked a contested pace set by the even-money favorite, Sweet Samantha, and then swept to the lead in the stretch and won the seven-furlong race by 2 1/2 lengths. Doc's Doll finished second, a half-length in front of Behrnik.

Beautiful America ($10.40) covered the distance in 1:25.38 over a fast track.

Trained by Mike Hernandez, Beautiful America is owned by Chester and Mary Broman.

Hernandez said Beautiful America, a daughter of Dixie Brass, will be pointed to the $100,000 Maid of the Mist on Oct. 19.