09/14/2006 12:00AM

Good Reward well-spotted in Brooklyn

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Last year's Manhattan winner Good Reward seeks his first graded stakes win on dirt on Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Still in search of that elusive graded stakes win on dirt, Good Reward may have found the right spot to achieve that goal in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Brooklyn Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park.

The Brooklyn, usually run during Belmont's spring-summer meeting, was moved to the fall when the Woodward was moved from Belmont's fall meet to Saratoga. A field of seven was entered for the Brooklyn, including graded stakes winners Wanderin Boy and Funny Cide.

Those two may hold the key to Good Reward's success in the Brooklyn, run at 1 1/8 miles. A horse that likes to come from off the pace, Good Reward would benefit from a potential pace battle between Wanderin Boy and Funny Cide. Take the Bluff, another speed horse, also is entered in the Brooklyn.

Good Reward, who won the Grade 1 Manhattan over Belmont's turf course in 2005, has not won a dirt race since taking a one-mile maiden race here in September 2003. He has run in four graded stakes on dirt, and comes off a second-place finish to Lava Man in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 20.

Despite breaking from the outside post in the eight-horse field, Good Reward had a perfect trip ground-saving trip under Garrett Gomez, but was no match for Lava Man, the West Coast's top handicap horse and a serious contender for Horse of the Year. Though Good Reward cuts back to a one-turn, 1 1/8-mile race, his trainer, Shug McGaughey, is not deterred.

"I don't think it's too short for him, no," McGaughey said. "In the Pacific Classic he was closer at the eighth pole than he was at the wire."

Wanderin Boy, a son of Seeking the Gold, is dangerous when able to dictate the pace. Trainer Nick Zito scratched him out of the Whitney when the colt drew post 11.

"When I talked with [owner Arthur] Hancock, we were afraid he wasn't going to get over from that post," said Zito.

Wanderin Boy led gate to wire to win a classified allowance race over a sealed muddy Belmont track on June 25.

Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, runs back two weeks after finishing eighth in the Woodward. While Funny Cide has been most effective this year when making the lead, trainer Barclay Tagg said he has no problem with him stalking. Cornelio Velasquez rides Funny Cide for the first time.

We Can Seek, second to Invasor in the Suburban, has an upset chance from off the pace for trainer Mark Hennig. Awesome Twist and Reverberate complete the field.