10/15/2003 11:00PM

Talent goes deeper than Funny Cide

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The achievements of New York-bred Funny Cide, this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, thrust the state's breeding and racing program into the national spotlight. Funny Cide, the first New York-bred to win the Kentucky Derby, became a household name during his Triple Crown run, which ended with a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.

You couldn't ask for a better ambassador than Funny Cide, but several other New York-breds also did well by the Empire State's breeding program, including Buy the Sport, who won the Grade 1 Gazelle, and Whitmore's Conn, the winner of the Grade 1 Sword Dancer and Grade 2 Bowling Green.

As the racing season nears an end, some of the best New York-breds in training will compete at Belmont Park on Saturday in the seven stakes that make up the New York Showcase Day card. The results of these stakes - the $250,000 Empire Classic, $150,000 Mohawk, $150,000 Ticonderoga, $150,000 Hudson, $150,000 Iroquois, $100,000 Sleepy Hollow, and $100,000 Maid of the Mist - usually carry weight in deciding divisional titles. The New York-bred champions for 2003 are decided by New York turf writers and will be announced at an awards dinner hosted by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders next spring.

Here is one person's ranking of the leading New York-breds, by division.

Older males

Unlike members of the 3-year-old male division, who performed spectacularly in open stakes, the top older males accounted for wins only in restricted stakes. Well Fancied, who also makes the grade as the top sprinter, was dominant in winning the Evan Shipman and Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Gander won two allowance races, and Papua, another sprinter, won the Hollie Hughes. Lord Ofthe Thunder won the Kings Point in impressive fashion. Private Emblem, last year's New York champion 3-year-old male, was fourth in two graded races at Lone Star Park.

1. Well Fancied

Pedigree: Prosper Fager-Patty's Fancy Tric

Breeder: Seymour Cohen

Owner: Sanford Goldfarb and Stewart Hoffman

Trainer: Richard Dutrow Jr.

2. Gander

Pedigree: Cormorant-Lovely Nurse

Breeder: Angela Rugnetta

Owner: Gatsas Stables

Trainer: John Terranova II

3. Papua

Pedigree: Louis Quartorze-Bella Ransom

Breeder: Stonewall Farm

Owner: Barry Schwartz

Trainer: Mike Hushion

4. Lord Ofthe Thunder

Pedigree: Saint Ballado-Astarte

Breeder: Barbara Brewer

Owner: Paraneck Stable

Trainer: Jennifer Pedersen

5. Private Emblem

Pedigree: Our Emblem-Merion Miss

Breeder: Doug Koch and Oak Cliff Stable

Owner: James Cassels and Bob Zollars

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

3-year-old colts and geldings

Even without Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, it would have been a banner year for New York-bred 3-year-olds. Traffic Chief is 4 for 5, including wins in the New York Derby and Albany. Bossanova was a 13 1/4-length winner of the Mike Lee, where he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 109. Spite the Devil and Go Rockin' Robin were respective winners of the Grade 3 Withers and Grade 2 Peter Pan. To underscore the strength of this division, Grey Comet, an open stakes winner, and Bo Bo's Vice, who won the $250,000 Cab Calloway Stakes, didn't make the list.

1. Funny Cide

Pedigree: Distorted Humor-Belle's Good Cide

Breeder: WinStar Farm

Owner: Sackatoga Stable

Trainer: Barclay Tagg

2. Traffic Chief

Pedigree: Colonial Affair-Ms. Forte

Breeder: Stonewall Farm

Owner: Barry Schwartz

Trainer: Mike Hushion

3. Bossanova

Pedigree: Pine Bluff-Street Tappin

Breeder: Kent and Katy Wiechert

Owner: Rod and Lorraine Rodriguez

Trainer: H. James Bond

4. Spite the Devil

Pedigree: Devil His Due-Samantha D

Breeder: Elisabeth R. Jerkens

Owner: Hardwicke Stable

Trainer: Allen Jerkens

5. Go Rockin' Robin

Pedigree: Distorted Humor-Flag Support

Breeder: WinStar Farm and McMahon Thoroughbreds

Owner: Herbert and Carol Schwartz

Trainer: Scott Schwartz

Older fillies and mares

Leading this strong division is Shawklit Mint, who in the spring reeled off four consecutive wins, including the Grade 2 Vagrancy and restricted Broadway. Carson Hollow, last year's New York-bred Horse of the Year, who died in August from complications of colic surgery, won the Grade 2 Distaff Breeders' Cup. She's Got the Beat held her own in open company, finishing second in four stakes, including the Grade 1 Go for Wand and Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup. Message Red won the Yanks Music at Belmont in May before being sidelined with an injury. The hard-hitting Princess Dixie won the off-the-turf Mount Vernon.

1. Shawklit Mint

Pedigree: Air Forbes Won-Shawklit Delight

Breeder: Treasure Hill Farm

Owner: Flatbird Stable

Trainer: Pat Reynolds

2. Carson Hollow

Pedigree: Carson City-Lizeality

Breeder: Patricia Staskowski Purdy

Owner: Frank Stronach and Hemlock Hills Farm

Trainer: Richard Dutrow Jr.

3. She's Got the Beat

Pedigree: Sultry Song-Judy's Magic

Breeder: JI Racing Inc. and Woodside Stud Inc.

Owner: Elizabeth Walsh

Trainer: Phil Johnson

4. Message Red

Pedigree: Cryptoclearance-Redeye Rain

Breeder: Tracy Egan and Phil Teinowitz

Owner: Landson Robbins

Trainer: James Jerkens

5. Princess Dixie

Pedigree: Dixie Brass-Princess Halo

Breeder: C B F Corporation

Owner: James F. Edwards

Trainer: H. James Bond

3-year-old fillies

Buy the Sport, who previously had raced in Europe, arrived on the New York scene late, but is the clear top choice because of her victory in the Grade 1 Gazelle and third-place finish against older fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Beldame. Travelator has not finished worse than third in nine starts this year and easily won the Schenectady Handicap. Beautiful America, last year's New York-bred champion juvenile filly, romped to a six-length win in the Statue of Liberty Stakes. Golden Damsel and Hanselina each won a restricted stakes.

1. Buy the Sport

Pedigree: Devil's Bag-Final Accord

Breeder: Patricia Calandro

Owner: Peter Minikes

Trainer: Bobby Barbara

2. Travelator

Pedigree: A. P Jet-Rajadiddle

Breeder: Michael and Raylene Anchel

Owner: Our Sugar Bear Stable

Trainer: Stanley Hough

3. Beautiful America

Pedigree: Dixie Brass-Eyeofthebeauty

Breeder: Thomas Ryba

Owner: Chester and Mary Broman

Trainer: Ramon Hernandez

4. Golden Damsel

Pedigree: Gold Token-Roving Eyes

Breeder: Stonewall Farm

Owner: Our Canterbury Stable

Trainer: Gary Contessa

5. Hanselina

Pedigree: Hansel-High Talent

Breeder: Peter Mariano

Owner: Peter Mariano

Trainer: Dominic Galluscio

Sprinters

Well Fancied, Bossanova, Papua, and Travelator also earned rankings in other divisions. Say Florida Sandy, who was retired last month to the breeding shed, had a very quiet year by his standards, but gets a sentimental ranking nonetheless.

1. Well Fancied

Pedigree: Prosper Fager-Patty's Fancy Tric

Breeder: Seymour Cohn

Owner: Sanford Goldfarb and Stewart Hoffman

Trainer: Richard Dutrow Jr.

2. Bossanova

Pedigree: Pine Bluff-Street Tappin

Breeder: Kent and Katy Wiechert

Owner: Rod & Lorraine Rodriguez

Trainer: H. James Bond

3. Papua

Pedigree: Louis Quatorze-Bella Ransom

Breeder: Stonewall Farm

Owner: Barry Schwartz

Trainer: Mike Hushion

4. Travelator

Pedigree: A. P Jet-Rajadiddle

Breeder: Michael and Raylene Anchel

Owner: Our Sugar Bear Stable

Trainer: Stanley Hough

5. Say Florida Sandy

Pedigree: Personal Flag-Lolli Lucka Lolli

Breeder: Sanford Bacon

Owner: John Rotella

Trainer: Scott Lake

2-year-old colts and geldings

With only a handful of New York-bred stakes for juveniles run this year, there's not much to go on in this division. Read the Footnotes looks like he has a stakes future ahead of him after impressive wins in a maiden race and an allowance race against open company. Flagshipenterprise was the dominant winner over Bond Arbitrage and Saratoga Episode in the Bertram F. Bongard. Rb's Glitter won the Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes.

1. Read the Footnotes

Pedigree: Smoke Glacken-Baydon Belle

Breeder: Lawrence Goichman

Owner: Klaravich Stables

Trainer: Richard Violette Jr.

2. Flagshipenterprise

Pedigree: Avenue of Flags-College Year

Breeder: Kathleen Schonefeld

Owner: Windmill Manor Farm and Kathleen Schonefeld

Trainer: Ronny Werner

3. Rb's Glitter

Pedigree: Glitterman-Grasping at Straws

Breeder: Dutchess Views Farm

Owner: E EI R Stable

Trainer: Bruce Levine

4. Bond Arbitrage

Pedigree: Forest Wildcat-Deputy Dear

Breeder: Jerry and Joanne Nielsen

Owner: Klaravich Stables

Trainer: Richard Violette Jr.

5. Saratoga Episode

Pedigree: Wheaton-Cherokee Mist

Breeder: James Didonato and Tony Everard

Owner: Sackatoga Stable

Trainer: Barclay Tagg

2-year-old fillies

Capeside Lady dusted her rivals in the Joseph A. Gimma. Rodeo Licious won the Fashion Stakes against open company in June. Mother Sacrifice beat males in the New York Breeders Futurity and also won the Lady Fingers Stakes. So Sweet a Cat finished second behind Mother's Sacrifice in those Finger Lakes stakes before her five-length maiden win. Uppity Kitty was the recent winner of a Bay Meadows stakes.

1. Capeside Lady

Pedigree: Cape Town-Gray Lady Type

Breeder: Becky Thomas

Owner: So MADCAPT Stable

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

2. Rodeo Licious

Pedigree: Rodeo-Shorty's Promise

Breeder: Glen Brokk

Owner: Our Blue Streaks

Trainer: Carl Deville

3. Mother Sacrifice

Pedigree: Dixie Brass-Genuine Attraction

Breeder: Peter Winston

Owner: Star Track Farms

Trainer: Donna Bireta

4. So Sweet a Cat

Pedigree: Tomorrows Cat-Sly Damsel

Breeder: Jane M. Freed

Owner: Jane M. Freed

Trainer: Ralph D'Alessandro

5. Uppity Kitty

Pedigree: Tale of the Cat-Princess Harriet

Breeder: Hugo Reynolds

Owner: James Vreeland and Mary Schroeder

Trainer: Jeff Bonde

Turf Males

Whitmore's Conn, who was recently retired because of an injury, was a standout in this division with wins in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer and Grade 2 Bowling Green. Finality, who also has been retired, won the West Point Handicap. Irish Colonial and Celtic Sky finished one-two in the Kingston. Quantum Merit won his last two starts in strong fashion, including a 3 3/4-length victory in the Ashley T. Cole.

1. Whitmore's Conn

Pedigree: Kris S.-Albonita

Breeder: Bud Wolf and Joe D'Agostino

Owner: Michael and Lyn Shanley

Trainer: Randy Schulhofer

2. Finality

Pedigree: Dehere-Finally Found

Breeder: Albert Fried Jr.

Owner: Dogwood Stable

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

3. Irish Colonial

Pedigree: Colonial Affair-A Rose for Shannon

Breeder: Howard Nolan and Fred Martin

Owner: Fred Martin

Trainer: Randy Schulhofer

4. Quantum Merit

Pedigree: Hansel-Just Flirting

Breeder: Gerald and Joanne Nielsen

Owner: Very Un Stable

Trainer: Del Carroll II

5. Celtic Sky

Pedigree: Sky Classic-Axe Creek

Breeder: John Meriwether and Richard Leahy

Owner: Waterville Lake Stable

Trainer: Christophe Clement

Turf Females

Little separates Dynamic Lisa and Wake Up Kiss, who won split divisions of the Yaddo Handicap at Saratoga. Perfect Energy, second to Dynamic Lisa in the Yaddo, returned to win an overnight stakes. Beautiful America has no wins on the turf, but did finish second to the talented Ocean Drive in an open turf stakes. Lady Bi Bi won her last two starts in allowance races, but is more than a few steps below the top four.

1. Wake Up Kiss

Pedigree: Cure the Blues-Good Morning Smile

Breeder: John Hettinger

Owner: Rudlein Stable

Trainer: H. James Bond

2. Dynamic Lisa

Pedigree: Dynaformer-Ashley Lindsey

Breeder: McMahon Thoroughbreds

Owner: Herbert and Carol Schwartz

Trainer: Scott Schwartz

3. Perfect Energy

Pedigree: Signal Tap-Visionneuse

Breeder: Rhapsody Farm and Peter Trapp

Owner: Matthew Stasior

Trainer: Gary Sciacca

4. Beautiful America

Pedigree: Dixie Brass-Eyeofthebeauty

Breeder: Thomas Ryba

Owner: Chester and Mary Broman

Trainer: Ramon Hernandez

5. Lady Bi Bi

Pedigree: Lord Avie-Shambidextress

Breeder: Tri County Stables

Owner: Tri County Stables

Trainer: John Hertler