06/29/2006 12:00AM

A holiday visitor

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Adam Coglianese / NYRA
Funny Cide, winning the Kings Point in April, ran third in a Grade 3 at Pimlico last time out.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Funny Cide, the popular 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, invades Woodbine on Saturday for the $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes.

Funny Cide will become the first Kentucky Derby winner to compete at Woodbine since Sea Hero, who finished third in the 1993 Molson Million.

Funny Cide isn't the runner he was in 2003, when he won the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old. He has become, though, into a useful Grade 3 performer for owner Sackatoga Stable and trainer Barclay Tagg.

Funny Cide, who won the Kings Point Handicap for New York-breds two starts back, is coming off a lackluster third-place finish under Richard Migliore in the Grade 3 William Donald Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico.

"We were a little disappointed in that one," said Jack Knowlton, the managing partner of Sackatoga Stable. "We're not exactly sure what happened. He got off a step slowly, and he usually bounces right out of the gate and is on or near the lead."

Migliore, said Knowlton, "had to fight him a bit. Funny has a mind of his own."

Knowlton said they were looking for 1 1/4-mile stakes for Funny Cide, and the Dominion Day fit the bill.

"It's not a tough ship to Woodbine, and he's doing really well these days," Knowlton said.

Funny Cide will break from post 1 in the seven-horse field, and should be forwardly placed under Migliore.

Arch Hall and Cryptograph are the most accomplished local runners in the lineup.

Arch Hall, a middle-distance specialist trained by Mark Casse, is questionable going 1 1/4 miles. His new rider, Emma Wilson, will have to be careful not to move him too soon.

Cryptograph captured two Grade 3 stakes here last fall. His trainer, Malcolm Pierce, said Cryptograph had a disastrous trip under Todd Kabel in his meet debut, the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes, in which he finished sixth, five lengths behind the victorious Arch Hall.

"Arch Hall," Pierce recalled, "came sweeping up on the outside at the quarter pole, and my horse went to go with him, and he ran up on the heels of [Alleged Ruler]. Todd had to check up, or he was going to go down."

Pierce said he has few qualms with running Cryptograph this far.

"I don't think it will be a problem, as long as there's some pace," Pierce explained.

* Tothemoonandback heads the supporting feature on the Canada Day card, the $150,000 Achievement Stakes for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds.