Updated on 09/17/2011 11:12PM

Funny Cide unlikely for Donn

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Four-Footed Fotos
Suave (left), losing to Magna Graduate in the Clark, runs next in the Donn.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Barclay Tagg had been hoping to make the Grade 1 Donn Handicap next month with Funny Cide. But after Funny Cide finished seventh in his comeback Saturday in the six-furlong , Tagg is rethinking his plans.

"I didn't expect him to win the other day, but I would have liked for him to have run better," Tagg said after training hours Tuesday. "It wasn't the ideal spot to bring him back. The race went in 1:08 and change, and he might not have even been able to deal with that in his heyday. He came out of it fine, but at this point I don't think we'll run him in the Donn."

Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby winner, was making his first start since July, when he finished sixth in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap. He remains winless since capturing the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup during the fall of 2004, and as a result, Tagg has plenty of allowance conditions to work with when he looks for Funny Cide's next race.

"I'll try to find something a little longer than this last race and a little simpler than the Donn," said Tagg. "Right now I'd say the Gulfstream Park Handicap might be an ideal spot for him if I can get a good allowance into him before that."

The 1 3/16-mile, Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap will be run on March 4.

Count Suave in for Donn Handicap

One horse definitely headed to the Donn is Suave, who closed out his 2005 campaign with a head defeat to Magna Graduate in the Clark Handicap. Suave also finished fifth, beaten three lengths by Saint Liam, in the Breeders' Cup Classic and second to Borrego in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup after starting the year with a pair of victories, including an easy win in the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap.

"I'm just going to train him right into the Donn," said trainer Paul McGee. "He had five hard races last year, so I gave him a little break after the Clark, but he's back working now and doing good."

Suave worked five furlongs in a relatively easy 1:01.60 here Sunday, several hours before McGee sent out Honor in War to capture the Ft. Lauderdale Handicap.

"This was only his second work since he's been down here," said McGee. "And he's not an especially good work horse. If you breeze him without a stick or his blinkers he'll work five furlongs in 1:07. Right now he's right on target for the Donn."

Stronach likes outlook for track

Frank Stronach, chairman of Magna Entertainment Corp., missed the opening of the 2006 Gulfstream Park meet last Wednesday, but was on the grounds over the weekend to see first hand the new grandstand he helped design.

"We knew this was going to be an enormous undertaking in just one year, and then we faced setbacks from two hurricanes," said Stronach. "But in another month and one-half, we should be in great shape with everything functioning. We'll be doing a lot of debugging over the next two weeks. It's never going to be perfect when you open like this, but the framework is there, and by the time we're finished with the entire project, Gulfstream Park will be a destination center and one of the finest entertainment complexes in the world."

Stronach said he will listen to some of the criticisms he's received about the new building and make any changes he deems necessary. He specifically mentioned the complaints about the admission charges to the simulcast rooms on the first floor and the limited seating available on the second level.

"I'll listen and adjust. There are lots of things we will change," said Stronach. "I'm not sure we're doing the right things yet."

Stronach also discussed the possibility of offering night racing at Gulfstream Park in the future.

"Most normal people work during the day," said Stronach. "We've made provisions to have a nightclub and sports bar. Hopefully, I can envision night racing here as well somewhere down the road."

A two-bagger for Capuano

Trainer Dale Capuano, one of the dominant trainers on the Maryland circuit, is trying his hand as a regular at the Gulfstream meet for the first time this winter and wasted little time making his presence felt Sunday, when he sent out a pair of winners.

Capuano won Sunday's opener with Two Spot Club and the finale with Little Thunder, who dominated a field of $16,000 starter-allowance horses going a mile. Capuano claimed Little Thunder for $16,000 out of a win Oct. 19, and Little Thunder has gone on to win three in a row, including a pair of allowance races, before leaving Maryland.

"It's a nice way to start," said Capuano, who has 10 horses stabled locally and another 50 at Laurel.

Perhaps the most promising member of Capuano's large stable, 3-year-old filly Celestial Legend, stayed behind in Maryland, where she registered her fifth win in as many starts when posting a 12-length victory in last Saturday's 5 1/2-furlong Marshua Stakes at Laurel.

"I might consider bringing her down here later in the meet," said Capuano. "The Old Hat is probably coming up a little too soon, but the next race in the series for 3-year-old fillies might suit her well."

Capuano was referring to the seven-furlong Forward Gal on March 5.