10/12/2004 11:00PM

Funny Cide works before it's wet

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Funny Cide will have two more serious workouts before the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 30.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Because of an iffy weather forecast, the connections of Funny Cide decided to move the gelding's first work since winning the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup up one day.

Funny Cide, who will run next in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, worked over Belmont Park's main track on Wednesday, one day earlier than planned, because rain was forecast for the early morning hours on Thursday.

With Robin Smullen, his regular exercise rider, in the saddle, Funny Cide cruised through five furlongs in 59.56 seconds - the second-fastest of 10 works at the distance - and galloped out six furlongs 1:12.90. The splits on the work, according to the Belmont clockers, were 12.60 seconds, 24, 35, and 46.20.

"The forecast was calling for a lot of rain, and even if it didn't rain, the track might have been sealed with the dogs up and that isn't a best-case scenario either," Smullen said.

The work, which was conducted under a cloudless blue sky, went as Funny Cide's trainer, Barclay Tagg, wished.

"It was standard procedure," Smullen said at the barn as she watched Funny Cide get a bath. "Barclay said keep him relaxed and work in 59 and four and gallop out in 12 and four. It was a maintenance work. For some horses, a maintenance work is a half-mile - not for him."

Funny Cide's typical routine is to work every six days leading up to a race, but Smullen said he will go seven days before his next work on Oct. 20, then six days to his final work before the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 26, the day before he is scheduled to fly to Texas.

"It won't hurt him to wait seven days," Smullen said.

Saint Liam works, targets Cigar Mile

Saint Liam, the Woodward runner-up, worked five furlongs in 1:03.34 Wednesday over Aqueduct's main track. His trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., restated his desire to skip the Breeders' Cup Classic and instead point to the Cigar Mile on Nov. 27 at Aqueduct.

Dutrow had previously said that Saint Liam wasn't quite right for a few days last week. Dutrow said Saint Liam came out of Wednesday's workout in good order, but his advice to owner William Warren Jr. would be to skip the Classic.

"If everybody was to leave me alone I wouldn't even think about it,'' Dutrow said. "I can't see going to a big race when I know something didn't go down right with his training. I'm not expecting a problem. They seem to let me do what I want to do. The Cigar Mile is plan B if everything is very good with the horse.''

Dutrow also said that Pennsylvania Derby winner Love of Money, who finished sixth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, would not run again this year. Love of Money will be freshened up for a 4-year-old campaign that is likely to start in south Florida.

Dutrow added that he doesn't plan to pre-enter Sis City, third in Saturday's Grade 1 Frizette, in the Juvenile Fillies. He said he would point Sis City to the Demoiselle at Aqueduct on Nov. 27.

Queens Plaza needs to stay straight

Queens Plaza, coming off a 3 1/4-length win in the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park last month, will run in Sunday's $100,000-added Astarita for 2-year-old fillies.

Although pleased with her performance in the Sorority, her second win in three starts, Queens Plaza's trainer, Tom Bush, was concerned that she drifted out in the stretch.

Bush said he has been experimenting with different equipment on Queens Plaza in the morning, and it's possible she could run with a shadow roll - a fuzzy piece of cloth that is attached to the bridle - and/or a burr bit. He decided against blinkers because the filly has been running well without them.

"She is going to have to run straighter as she faces better fillies," said Bush, who trains Queens Plaza for Candy Stables. "In her first start, she got sawed off down the backside, and maybe that experience made her a little quirky."

Jerry Bailey will ride Queens Plaza in the 6 1/2-furlong Astarita, a Grade 3 race.

Other expected starters are Five Star Fund, Im a Dixie Girl, Roving Angel, Rush to Glory, Summer Raven, and Toll Taker.

Magoo's Magic to debut for Jerkens

Magoo's Magic will make his first start for trainer Allen Jerkens in Sunday's $75,000-added Cowdin for 2-year-old males.

Magoo's Magic, who has a first and a second in two starts, previously was trained by Bill White in Florida. Martin Schwartz, Magoo's Magic's owner, moved the colt to Jerkens because he wanted to try him in stakes company in New York. In his last start, Magoo's Magic won a maiden race by 3 1/4 lengths at Calder on Sept. 11.

"I've had him about two weeks and he looks like his grandfather," Jerkens said, referring to Deputy Minister. "He has breezed nice and when the rider clucks at him, he goes. We'll see if he has any class."

Cornelio Velasquez will ride Magoo's Magic, who will make his stakes debut in the 6 1/2-furlong Cowdin.

Flamenco and Fusaichi Rock Star are the only other confirmed starters for the Cowdin. Several other horses are considered possible.

Zakocity might go main track only

With rain in the forecast for the next few days, trainer Pat Reynolds is considering entering Zakocity for the main track in Saturday's $100,000-added Lawrence Realization. The Grade 3 Lawrence Realization is scheduled to be run at 1 1/2 miles on the Widener turf. If switched to the dirt, the distance of the race will be 1 1/8 miles.

Zakocity finished third in the Grade 3 Pegasus at The Meadowlands on Oct. 1 in his last start.

"We'll see about the Lawrence Realization and the track condition, because he doesn't mind the slop," Reynolds said. "If not, the Discovery would be ideal. He had a hard race in the Pegasus. He took the rider to the front and it was pretty fast fractions. You can't fault the rider; [Zakocity] just ran out of gas."

The Grade 3, $100,000-added Discovery will be run opening day of the Aqueduct meet on Oct. 27.

Eye Dazzler, Sweet Vision return off layoffs

A pair of stakes-placed fillies coming off long layoffs, Eye Dazzler and Sweet Vision, are among six horses entered in Friday's feature, a second-level allowance race.

Eye Dazzler, unraced since finishing second in the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park in February, and Sweet Vision, who hasn't started since finishing last in the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland in April, will return to competition in the seven-furlong dirt race.

Eye Dazzler has been working sharply for trainer Mark Hennig at Belmont. Sweet Vision, trained by John Terranova, also shows some fast works.

With a wet track a distinct possibility, Mariakel and Two Bayou figure to be the main beneficiaries.

Mariakel is back sprinting after two losses in races farther than a mile, including a grass start. Although she won going a route earlier in her career, Mariakel's best races recently have been sprinting.

Two Bayou, the main speed in the field, is 3 for 6 at the distance and 2 for 4 over off tracks.

Habiboo cuts back to one turn after runaway wins at Monmouth in two-turn races during the summer. Stand on Top completes the field.

- additional reporting by David Grening