Updated on 09/17/2011 10:20AM

Then there were 18

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Funny Cide (right), running beside Empire Maker in the Wood, will not work at Churchill.

ELMONT, N.Y. - It was a dreary Tuesday morning in New York, where two Kentucky Derby hopefuls were scheduled to put in workouts. One got his breeze in because he had to, while the other did not work because he couldn't.

At Belmont Park, where overnight rains created a sloppy main track, Funny Cide worked a strong half-mile in 47.88 seconds (as timed by Daily Racing Form) around a double set of dogs, traffic cones that are used to protect the inside part of the track. Belmont clockers credited Funny Cide with a four-furlong move in 48.01 seconds. It was his first work since finishing second to Empire Maker in the Wood Memorial.

Seven miles away, at Aqueduct, the Illinois Derby runner-up, Fund of Funds, remained in his stall, forced off the Triple Crown trail because of a tendon tear in his left foreleg, trainer Rick Violette said Tuesday.

Another Aqueduct-based horse, New York Hero, winner of the Lane's End Stakes, was removed from Derby consideration because of a quarter crack in his left front foot.

The defections of Fund of Funds and New York Hero reduced the prospective Kentucky Derby field to 18 - 14 definites, four possibles. The definites are Atswhatimtalknbout, Brancusi, Buddy Gil, Empire Maker, Funny Cide, Indian Express, Kafwain, Offlee Wild, Outta Here, Peace Rules, Scrimshaw, Sir Cherokee, Supah Blitz, and Ten Most Wanted.

Still listed as possible are Eye of the Tiger, Lone Star Sky, Senor Swinger, and Ten Cents a Shine.

While most of the Derby horses are in Kentucky - or will be by Sunday - Funny Cide will remain in New York until next Wednesday, a day after his final workout. The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby without having a work or a race over the Churchill Downs track in the week leading up to the Derby was Bold Forbes in 1976.

"If I had my way, I'd fly in Saturday morning," Barclay Tagg, trainer of Funny Cide, said Tuesday from Keeneland. "If you get there a week out and gallop strong or breeze them on a track that a horse doesn't like, they tend to get sore in the back end and you don't have enough time to recover. I don't think Funny Cide was real wild about the track in Louisiana, but he tolerated it and ran well."

Robin Smullen, Tagg's assistant and the regular exercise rider of Funny Cide, said she was depressed when she saw the sloppy racetrack Tuesday. But believing a work was necessary for Funny Cide to remain on schedule, Smullen elected to take Funny Cide to the track shortly after 6 a.m.

The double set of dogs forced Funny Cide to work in the middle of the track. With Smullen maintaining a tight hold of the reins, Funny Cide rattled off fractions of 12.28, 24.78, and 36.44 seconds and galloped out five furlongs in 59.02. He galloped out so strongly that it took until midway up the backstretch for Smullen to pull him up.

"That was a perfect work in my opinion," Smullen said. "The first eighth he was kind, which I was pleased with because he can be tough.'

Smullen said that Funny Cide has been easier to ride since she and Tagg changed bits on the New York-bred gelding. For his last breeze before the Wood, the Wood itself, and Tuesday's breeze, Funny Cide has been equipped with a Houghton bit, which is more restrictive but does not pinch Funny Cide's mouth the way a regular leather-pronged bit did. It also helps in preventing Funny Cide from drifting out, something he has had a tendency to do.

Smullen believes Funny Cide, a son of Distorted Humor, can get the 10 furlongs of the Derby if jockey Jose Santos can get him to relax off horses the way he did in the Wood, when he sat off New York Hero early on.

"I just don't see stamina as problem," Smullen said. "The problem is being too fast too early. If he can rate him a little bit and get relatively slow fractions, he'll be able to go a mile and a quarter. His last race showed he's started to learn to rate a little bit."

In other Derby developments:

- At Churchill Downs, Offlee Wild worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 under jockey Robby Albarado. Churchill Downs clockers caught Offlee Wild in fractions of 12.40 seconds, 24.80, 37.60, and 49 seconds, and he galloped out in 1:14.40. Offlee Wild worked in company with stablemate Roman Centurion, a 3-year-old maiden son of Awesome Again.

- Trainer Bobby Frankel's duo of Empire Maker and Peace Rules each galloped a strong 1 3/8 miles at Churchill on Tuesday. They were both to get a day off Wednesday and return to the track Thursday.

- Lone Star Sky, who remains a possibility for the Derby, worked six furlongs in 1:12.80 under jockey Calvin Borel. Churchill Downs clockers caught Lone Star Sky's final quarter in 22.60 seconds.

Trainer Tom Amoss called it "a super work," but said he and owner Buddy New would not make a final decision regarding Lone Star Sky's Derby status until next week, when the horse works again.

- Senor Swinger, who finished fifth in both the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial, worked five furlongs on the Churchill Downs turf course in 1:03 under Pat Day. Afterward, trainer Bob Baffert said he would talk to owner Bob Lewis before deciding whether to run in the Derby or the Crown Royal American Turf on May 2.

- Owner Ken Ramsey said if Ten Cents a Shine works well at Churchill on Saturday morning, he will run in the Derby. Ramsey said trainer D. Wayne Lukas told him that Ten Cents a Shine was bothered by a troubled tooth in the Blue Grass, in which Ten Cents a Shine finished eighth. Lukas had the tooth filed down, and after watching Ten Cents a Shine work 58.60 seconds last weekend called Ramsey to convince him to run.

"If he trains well, we'll probably throw our hat in the ring," Ramsey said.

Calvin Borel is expected to work Ten Cents a Shine on Saturday.

- additional reporting by Marty McGee