Updated on 09/17/2011 11:15AM

Stars out of Travers


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - As expected, both Funny Cide, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, and Empire Maker, the Belmont Stakes winner, were officially scratched from Saturday's $1 million Travers due to illnesses, their connections announced Friday.

Bobby Frankel, trainer of Empire Maker, said his colt does not have a temperature but that he is not acting right and his coat looks dull.

"I'm erring on the side of caution," Frankel said in his barn office Friday morning. "I might win the battle and lose the war, so I decided not to run. I think of all the negative things that could happen. The object is to try and win the Breeders' Cup."

Since breezing last Saturday, Empire Maker simply walked four of the next six days. Frankel, who treated with the horse with clenbuterol, said he would give Empire Maker another week of walking and would point him to the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Sept. 27.

Meanwhile, trainer Barclay Tagg scratched Funny Cide on Friday morning after an endoscopic examination showed mucus in the gelding's trachea following a gallop over the Clare Court track. Tagg will also put Funny Cide on antibiotics, give him a week off, and hope to bring him back in the fall at Belmont Park.

"You can't set any goals," said Robin Smullen, Tagg's assistant. "You've got to get him right first."

Smullen, who is also Funny Cide's exercise rider, said Funny Cide was not breathing normally during his Friday gallop, prompting Tagg to have the horse scoped.

"I've been fighting something for a while; I'm not going to fight it anymore," Tagg said. "I'm going to get it better. I'm going to turn him out in the round pen and walk him for a week or so and put him on some antibiotics."

Tagg said he had no particular race he was looking at for Funny Cide and even hinted he may not run again this year.

"I won the Derby and Preakness, and he's made $2 million," Tagg said. "He doesn't have to do anything else. If I run him again, it'll be at Belmont."

The three dirt races at the Belmont meet that Funny Cide would be eligible to make are the $150,000 Jerome (Sept. 13), the Jockey Club Gold Cup, or the $250,000 Empire Classic for New York-breds (Oct. 18).