05/08/2003 11:00PM

Selling the Derby winner

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OCALA, Fla. - P.A. "Tony" Everard, who bought Funny Cide as a yearling, is the second Florida-based pinhooker in three years to snare a Kentucky Derby winner. Two years ago, Monarchos, pinhooked by Murray Smith, won the Derby.

Everard bought two yearlings at the 2001 Saratoga sale of New York-breds - Funny Cide and one by Eastern Echo - and sent them to the New Episode Training Center in Ocala, Fla., owned by Everard and his wife, Elisabeth.

Everard is a speculator. He buys horses of all ages and readies them for resale. Sometimes they go the established sales route; other times they are sold privately.

Everard has made a good buck, he will tell you, with New York-breds.

"My first good New York-bred was for Richard Bomze," he said. "I broke Fourstardave and got him ready for the races. The horse helped me establish New York connections. I always make sure I buy a couple of them every year to break and resell."

Speculators take chances and Everard is no exception. He likes to buy the get of young, unproven sires, and prefers young producers.

"Ridglings usually sell cheaper," says Everard. "Funny Cide was a 'ridg' and I did to him what I do with all my ridgs; I geld them. Sooner or later most ridgs will give you trouble. So, you might as well get it over with and cut 'em."

Everard often goes into partnership with friends and relatives. When he bought Funny Cide in partnership, the game plan was to sell him at the Ocala Breeders' April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

"His shins were sensitive and you might as well say he bucked, so I had to withdraw him from the sale," Everard said.

Barclay Tagg, now Funny Cide's trainer, was in Ocala when Funny Cide was a 2-year-old in training. Tagg liked what he saw and bought Funny Cide for Sackatoga Stable.

"I wanted more than what they offered me," Everard said. "But Barclay is a good client and has good clients. We settled on $75,000. I had paid $22,000 for him at Saratoga and $20,000 for the Eastern Echo yearling that I sold in the OBS June sale of last year for $5,000.

"You win some and lose some. This is no game for people in short pants."