01/10/2003 12:00AM

Holy Bull pits two sizzling 3-year-olds


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Something will have to give next Saturday, when a pair of undefeated colts, Added Edge and Funny Cide, square off in the Holy Bull Stakes. The Grade 3 Holy Bull is the first major race for 3-year-olds here this winter and a major stepping-stone to the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 15.

Added Edge is perhaps the better known of the two undefeated youngsters, after shipping down from his Woodbine base and scoring an easy 2 1/4-length victory in Aqueduct's Grade 3 Nashua Stakes in his 2-year-old finale.

Funny Cide is a New York-bred son of Distorted Humor who has yet to run against open competition, or around two turns, or outside Belmont Park. But trainer Barclay Tagg is high on his colt, who is training up a storm at Palm Meadows.

Funny Cide won his first two career starts by an average margin of 12 lengths. He was finally extended by Spite the Devil, another prospective Holy Bull candidate, in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes but still scored a game neck victory as the 1-9 favorite.

"I told Jose" - jockey Jose Santos - "to try to keep him covered up early so we could teach him a little, since he didn't learn anything by just sprinting away from everybody in his first two starts," said Tagg.

Funny Cide won the Sleepy Hollow despite traffic trouble, Tagg said, and came out of the race with a lung infection.

"Between the trip and the fact he wasn't quite 100 percent, it might explain why he wasn't quite as brilliant as in his first two races."

Tagg has already shipped Funny Cide down from Palm Meadows to get accustomed to Gulfstream and said the young colt has adapted with flying colors.

"He's only had to walk out of the barn and over to the paddock for his first three starts, so all this will be a little new to him," said Tagg. "He was pretty calm when I schooled him in the paddock down here. He's really done very nicely since coming down from New York and I'm expecting a big performance out of him,"

Tagg would not commit to any future plans with Funny Cide beyond the Holy Bull.

"We'll see what happens with this one before making any long-range plans, although if he were to run well I just might skip the Fountain of Youth and send him right into the Florida Derby," said Tagg. "If he does prove to be a Kentucky Derby type of horse it would be a lot to ask of him to run in all three Florida races and one more prep before the Derby."

A field of nine or 10 3-year-olds is shaping up for the Holy Bull. In addition to Added Edge and Funny Cide, the field is likely to include Bham, Spite the Devil, Flank Attack, Awesome of Course, One Colony, the Ken McPeek-trained pair of Powerful Touch and Not for Profit, and one of three horses trainer Manny Tortora nominated to the race.

McPeek, who finished second in the 2002 Holy Bull with Harlan's Holiday, likes the chances of both Powerful Touch and Not for Profit.

Powerful Touch won his last two starts going seven furlongs at Aqueduct. Not for Profit won his maiden for $30,000, then jumped up to win a first-level allowance race in his 2-year-old finale.

"Powerful Touch acts like he'll run farther, and this will be his first real test," said McPeek. "He was a short horse in his first race but bounced back to show improvement in each of his next two starts. I decided to back off him at that point, skip some of the 2-year-old stakes at the end of the year, and point him for the stuff down here."

McPeek is also high on Not for Profit.

"He's done extremely well since getting down here and is reeking with confidence right now," said McPeek. "He was just a horse who needed two turns really bad."

The Judge Sez Who, Best of the Rest work

The Judge Sez Who and Best of the Rest, who finished first and second, in Calder's Fred W. Hooper Handicap to close out their 2002 campaigns, both worked over their home base on Friday in preparation for a rematch in the $1 million Sunshine Classic here Jan. 25.

Best of the Rest went five furlongs in 1:00.20 while The Judge Sez Who breezed the same distance in 1:02.60. Free of Love, who is also pointing to the Sunshine Classic, went a mile in a brisk 1:41.20 at Palm Meadows.

Mac Diarmida field still undetermined

The starting lineup for Sunday's Grade 3 Mac Diarmida Handicap on the turf remains uncertain and figures to remain up in the air until pre-entries for the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 25 are announced on Wednesday.

"Only six horses can go from Florida for the Sunshine Millions Turf, and right now that group will probably consist of Forbidden Apple, Miesque's Approval, Whata Brainstorm, Point Prince, Stormy Roman, and Sir Brian's Sword," said stakes coordinator Chip Spencer.

"But if for some reason Sir Brian's Sword or Whata Brainstorm doesn't get a spot in that race, they'll probably run in the Mac Diarmida," Spencer said.

Among the confirmed starters Spencer named for the 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida are Just Listen, Marquette, Macaw, and Rochester.

Sir Brian's Sword worked a half-mile in 51.20 seconds at Payson Park on Friday.

McCarthy wins first race as a trainer

Michael McCarthy, who retired from an outstanding riding career in November, wasted little time in winning his first race as a trainer when Hesa Angel rallied after being passed in deep stretch to win the Friday opener.

The victory came with only the second starter ever saddled by McCarthy, who has assumed the training of a small public stable at the Palm Meadows training center. Hesa Angel, a 3-year-old colt owned by Joe and Kathy Rea, returned $6.80 to win.

"I was more nervous before this race than when I was ever riding," said McCarthy. "I'm thankful to break the ice. It was really nice."

Roughly 20 onlookers crowded around the winner's circle to give McCarthy and Hesa Angel a cheer.

"Unbelievable," said McCarthy, 39. "I had a nice riding career, but I'm still young enough to hopefully do a lot of good as a trainer."

McCarthy, a New York native, is an icon in Delaware, where he is in the state's sports Hall of Fame for his success as a jockey at Delaware Park.

Super Fuse on course for Hutcheson

Trainer Richard Ciardullo said he is simply going to throw out Super Fuse's fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Spectacular Bid Stakes on opening day here and point his 3-year-old sprint star for the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes on Feb. 15.

"[Jockey Carlos Gonzalez] said he was just slipping around and not handling the track," Ciardullo said. "I had trained him for the Spectacular Bid at Calder, but I left him here on the grounds after the race to continue training over this track for the Hutcheson."

Super Fuse was favored at 2-1 for the six-furlong Spectacular Bid on the strength of winning four of his five previous starts at 2, including an easy victory in Aqueduct's Huntington Stakes.

- additional reporting by Marty McGee