08/20/2003 12:00AM

Travers draw: Frankel vs. Funny Cide


Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide drew post position No. 7 and is now considered 75 percent likely to run in Saturday's 134th running of the $1 million Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Funny Cide finished a badly beaten third in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in his last start, and has been considered doubtful for the Travers since spiking a fever in the days after that race. Funny Cide rebounded somewhat on Tuesday morning, however, with an encouraging four furlong workout that has fueled speculation that the colt may be ready to run. Regular rider Jose Santos is named aboard Funny Cide, who has been posted as the 3-1 morning line second-choice in the Travers.

If Funny Cide runs, will be facing a field of six challengers including one of the Bobby Frankel-trained duo of either Peace Rules or Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker. Jockey Jerry Bailey was named aboard both horses, meaning one or the other must be scratched prior to the race. This, coupled with Funny Cide's uncertainty, means there is a possibility that neither Funny Cide or Empire Maker may run in the race that has been billed as a rematch between this year's Triple Crown heros.

Peace Rules, who defeated Funny Cide in the Haskell, drew post No. 3 in the Travers. Empire Maker drew post No. 5. They are listed as an 8-5 morning-line favorite.

The rest of the field included Jim Dandy stakes winner Strong Hope (post 2, 4-1), Belmont Stakes runner-up Ten Most Wanted (post 4, 6-1), Sky Mesa (post 8, 4-1), and longshots Congrats (post 1, 15-1) and Wild And Wicked (post 6, 20-1).

Post time for the Travers will be 6:25 Eastern time on Saturday afternoon, It will be race 11 on a 12-race card.

1 CONGRATS S. McGaughey M. Luzzi 15-1
2 STRONG HOPE T. Pletcher J. Velazquez4-1
3 PEACE RULES B. Frankel J. Bailey 8-5
4 TEN MOST WANTED W. Dollase P. Day 6-1
5 EMPIRE MAKER B. Frankel J. Bailey 8-5
6 WILD AND WICKED K. McPeek S. Sellers 20-1
7 FUNNY CIDE B. Tagg J. Santos 3-1
8 SKY MESA J. Ward E. Prado 4-1