07/06/2004 11:00PM

Short summer break for Funny Cide

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Future plans for Funny Cide may include a start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 7 or the Grade 2, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 22.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Following his third-place finish in Saturday's Grade 1 Suburban, Funny Cide has been kicking back in the round pen adjacent to his Belmont Park barn.

Robin Smullen, Funny Cide's exercise rider and trainer Barclay Tagg's assistant, said the gelding's shoes were removed and that he would hang out in the pen for about 45 minutes a day for about seven days. During that time, he will be hand-walked daily, but won't make any trips to the track to train. It's the first time since finishing third in last year's Belmont Stakes that Funny Cide has used the pen for an extended period of time.

Funny Cide, who owned a half-length lead at the eighth pole in the Suburban, was beaten a neck and a nose by Peace Rules and Newfoundland.

"He came out of the race great," Smullen said. "Obviously, it was the right decision to run here rather than in [the Hollywood Gold Cup] in California, where I hear it will be in the 100's on Saturday. Barclay and I consider the Suburban his best race to date."

Smullen said weather would play a factor in where Funny Cide runs next. Tagg scratched Funny Cide from the Grade 1 Pimlico Special in May because he doesn't believe the horse does well in hot, humid weather.

Smullen said future plans for Funny Cide, who won last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness, may include a start in the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 7 or the Grade 2, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 22.

"Of course the Whitney is one option, but I'm not sure he will be 100 percent ready," Smullen said. "Our goal is the Jockey Club Gold Cup in the fall, and the Saratoga Breeders' Cup is a mile and a quarter and so is that race. We need to find the best way to get to the Gold Cup."

The Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup will be run at Belmont on Oct. 2.

Ghostzapper may stretch out soon

On Wednesday in his Belmont office, trainer Bobby Frankel was kicking around the idea of stretching out Ghostzapper in his next start. He won Sunday's seven-furlong Tom Fool by 4 1/4 lengths.

After the Tom Fool, Frankel said he would sprint Ghostzapper over the summer and possibly stretch him out in the fall. Frankel said if he decides to run the colt at a route sooner, one possible spot for Ghostzapper is the 1 1/8-mile Whitney, the likely next start for the Frankel-trained Peace Rules.

"[Ghostzapper] rates so kindly he could be close going longer, but not on the lead," Frankel said. "He relaxes so well, it might not be a problem stretching out."

Frankel began the holiday weekend by winning the Suburban with Peace Rules. Frankel said that at one point during the stretch run of the 1 1/4-mile Suburban, he turned his back on the race because it looked like Peace Rules was going to lose.

"I thought he was beat," Frankel said.

Besides the Whitney, Frankel mentioned the Grade 3, $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park on Aug. 21 as a possible race for Peace Rules. Frankel said the 1 1/8-mile Iselin interests him because Peace Rules demonstrated that he liked Monmouth by winning the Grade 1 Haskell there last year.

Horses who are definitely being pointed to the Whitney are Suburban runner-up Newfoundland and Brooklyn winner Seattle Fitz, who skipped the Suburban.

Midas Eyes goes back to work

The Frankel-trained Midas Eyes worked for the first time since late March on Wednesday at Belmont. Midas Eyes, ridden in the work by former jockey Angel Cordero Jr., covered three furlongs in 37.22 seconds over the main track.

Midas Eyes, who won last year's Swale and Derby Trial, hasn't run since finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Strub at Santa Anita Park on Feb. 7. At the end of March, Frankel said Midas Eyes's ankles began to bother him and he gave him some time off.

Frankel said Midas Eyes should be back to the races toward the end of the Saratoga meet.

Frankel worked Group 1 winner Etoile Montante at Belmont on Tuesday and said the filly is a "remote possibility" to run in the $100,000 Poker against males on Saturday. In her last start, Etoile Montante finished third behind stablemate Intercontinental in the Grade 2 Just a Game Breeders' Cup on June 5. Frankel was going to run Etoile Montante in last Saturday's Royal Heroine Stakes at Hollywood, but the filly scoped "with a little mucus" and remained at Belmont.

Etoile Montante covered a half-mile in 48.93 seconds on Tuesday.

Randaroo done for the summer

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin reported that Randaroo, a multiple stakes winner, is on the shelf for the rest of the summer. Randaroo finished third in her last start, the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on May 1.

"Her ankles have some wear and tear, but there are no fractures," McLaughlin said. "She'll be on the back burner for the summer."

On Wednesday at Belmont, McLaughlin worked Ecclesiastic a half-mile in 49.88 seconds on the main track for Sunday's $150,000 Dwyer Stakes. Richard Migliore, who will ride Ecclesiastic in the Grade 2 Dwyer, was aboard for the work.

McLaughlin reported that Roar Emotion, who underwent a myectomy to correct a breathing problem since her last start, will run next in the Grade 2, $750,000 Delaware Handicap on July 18.

In her last start, Roar Emotion finished last in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 12.