03/01/2005 12:00AM

Funny Flyer's encore to smash debut


SAN MATEO, Calif. - While Thursday's Bay Meadows feature pits win machine Smoke Till Dawn against the up-and-coming Smoocher in the third race, the most interesting race on the card is the second.

The race is a six-furlong allowance for 3-year-olds, and it marks the second start for Funny Flyer, who made a big impression in his debut.

Lost in the Fog, who earned a 103 Beyer in his debut, set the gold standard locally. Stellar Magic, coming off a win in the San Mateo Mile and eyeing the El Camino Real Derby, started his career with a 90.

, who paid $37, won his debut by five lengths, defeating Rockin' Rizzi, who came back to win his next start. Funny Flyer earned a 91 Beyer.

Funny Flyer did it in a professional manner, sitting off Rockin' Rizzi's hot early pace and pulling away in the lane.

"When he won by five, I was surprised," said his trainer, William E. Morey. "I always liked him. I expected good things, but I was pleasantly surprised."

Sired by Michael's Flyer, the sire of last year's Golden State Mile winner, O.K. Mikie, Funny Flyer has turned in three solid works since his debut, including a 46.80-second half-mile drill that was the best of 38 works last Saturday.

He will get an honest pace to run at with the presence of speedsters Thoughtuknew, the winner of two straight, and Makalapua. Olympic Miler, who chased both Lost in the Fog and Stellar Magic in their debuts, could also be a pace factor.

is the "X" factor, making his first start since winning his maiden last June 10. He has been working well, including a 1:13.40 six-furlong bullet from the gate in his final work.

Funny Flyer should be too much for them, though. His works signal that he should repeat his strong debut effort.

In the feature, Smoke Till Dawn may be challenged early by You Crack Me Up, but he should win the pace duel with his outside draw. The question is how much a pace duel might take out of him in the $50,000 optional claimer at six furlongs.

Smoocher, a Grade 2 winner in Canada who has been second in his two northern California starts, will provide the main danger in the lane. The sharp Rae's Totts also closes well.

* Hooked on Niners, third on the turf in the $100,000 Brown Bess at Golden Gate Fields, and recent allowance winner Secret Corsage, head the list of 11 nominees for Saturday's $55,000-added Foster City Handicap at one mile for older fillies and mares.