04/12/2006 12:00AM

Showing Up breezes despite bruise

Bill Denver/ EQUI-PHOTOS
Teammate will have few foes in the Comely.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Are you gellin'? Showing Up, wearing a Dr. Scholl's-like device on his bruised right front foot, was gellin' like a 3-year-old smellin' the roses on Wednesday morning.

Showing Up, who was held out of the Wood Memorial because of his foot issue, drilled five furlongs in 58.48 seconds Wednesday morning over Belmont Park's main track. The breeze keeps Showing Up on target for the $325,000 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 22. Since he has no graded-stakes earnings, Showing Up would most likely need to win the Grade 2 Lexington to have any hopes of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby, if his connections are even thinking about running him there.

On Monday and Tuesday mornings, when he galloped, Showing Up's right front foot was equipped with a metal plate to cover the bruised area. Robin Smullen, the assistant to trainer Barclay Tagg, said breezing with the plate on would have been "a little dangerous," so instead Showing Up had a gel-like substance on the bottom of his foot and underneath the shoe to act as a shock absorber during the work.

"It hardens up the area," Smullen said. "We put it over the hole where the infection was and it stayed on. Afterward, we cut the gel out and he's cooling out well."

Jockey Cornelio Velasquez was up for the work. Belmont clockers timed Showing Up's first quarter in 23.80 seconds, meaning he got his last three furlongs in 34.68. The move was the fastest of 13 at the distance.

"Cornelio was pleased," Smullen said. "He didn't think he went that fast, but he's a fast horse."

Smullen said Showing Up is scheduled to breeze again on Tuesday morning. If all goes well, he would be put on a van that afternoon for Keeneland.

Because the bruise is not healed, "we still have a ways to go," Smullen said. "But we're on the right track. We can't have any setbacks. One little setback and he won't go."

Funny Cide's blood not right

Funny Cide, who finished second in the Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap on April 1, has had some problems with his blood count, which could delay his next start.

Smullen said Funny Cide had a low white blood cell count coming out of the Excelsior, a race in which he was beaten 1 3/4 lengths by West Virginia. The most recent blood test showed improvement, but "it's still not where it needs to be," Smullen said. "I'm still not allowed to breeze him. We'll pull another blood next week, and if it's good we'll start to breeze him. As far as a race is concerned, we don't want to run till the blood is good."

Funny Cide, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner of 2003, has not won since taking the Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2004. He has lost eight starts in that span.

Small field likely for Comely

It appears as though there will be only a five- or six-horse field for Saturday's $150,000 Comely Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Though lacking quantity, the Grade 2 Comely will not lack for quality.

Teammate, winner of the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss in her last start, and Miraculous Miss, winner of the Grade 2 Forward Gal on the same March 5 card at Gulfstream Park, headline the field. Other stakes winners pointing to the Comely are Better Now, last year's Tempted winner; Daytime Promise, the Busanda winner; and Regal Engagement, the Busher winner. Trendy Lady, who finished a neck behind Regal Engagement, is a possible starter.

Beholden, a debut winner at Saratoga last August and an allowance winner last month at Gulfstream, was being pointed to the race but won't be able to make it. Trainer Eoin Harty said wet weather in south Florida inhibited his chances of getting a final work into the filly.

Whitney ultimate goal for Mayan King

Mayan King's trip down the Triple Crown trail was brief in 2005. After winning his first two starts, Mayan King finished seventh in the Grade 2 Lane's End at Turfway Park, a race from which he emerged with a fractured sesamoid in a hind leg.

Following surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation, Mayan King returned to the races last Saturday with a 3 1/2-length win over a solid field in a second-level allowance race here. Mayan King, a son of Stephen Got Even, ran one mile in 1:37.48 over a sealed, sloppy track and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

"Ramon [Dominguez] said to me he didn't like the track, and I know what he is on a fast track," trainer Gary Contessa said. "I'm thrilled to have this horse this year."

Since Mayan King was injured on an off track, Contessa had to convince part-owner David Cassidy to run the horse Saturday. Contessa said he walked the track and felt it was safe.

"It was only about an inch of slop on top of a good, firm bottom," Contessa said. "I was happy with it, but I had to convince David Cassidy and I did, and he said, 'Okay, Gary, I leave it up to you.' "

Contessa said he would look for another "small step" with Mayan King before tackling stakes company again. Contessa said his ultimate goal this summer is the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga on Aug. 5.

"I think he's that good," Contessa said.

Baeza Jr. promoted to NYRA steward

Braulio Baeza Jr., the son of Hall of Fame jockey Braulio Baeza, was promoted to New York Racing Association steward, it was announced on Wednesday. The younger Baeza had been acting NYRA steward since Dave Hicks was fired last July.

Baeza, 45, has worked at NYRA for several years, serving as a placing and patrol judge as well as working in the racing office and the offices of horsemen's credentials and horse identification. Before working for NYRA, Baeza had worked as an assistant to his father when the elder Baeza trained during the 1990's.

"Braulio's work ethic, his experience in all aspects of racing, and his sound judgment will serve him and NYRA well in this very important position," said NYRA's president and CEO, Charles Hayward.

"I am very excited to be promoted to association steward," Baeza said. "New York has the best racing in the country, and I am very proud to be a part of it."