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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Funny Cide's Form No Laughing Matter

- Funny Cide is entered in the Thursday feature at Gulfstream, a one mile allowance race that also drew Sun King. It’s his first non-stakes race since a five length win in an allowance race in January of 2004 at the Gulf (and the only one, other than his debut, in his 25 lifetime starts). Nonetheless, it doesn’t look great for the now six-year old Derby winner; his recent past performance lines are pretty bleak. I don’t know if this race is enough of a class drop given his recent form; Sun King ran credibly in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and BC Classic, both beyond his best distance, to end his three-year old season, and his two prior efforts off layoffs have been excellent. In fact, he made his three-year old debut off a similar layoff after the 2004 BC Juvenile and beat an allowance that included Survivalist, earning a Beyer of 104. He should be in fine fettle for his four-year old debut for Zito. And I think Funny Cide may have to improve to beat Sir Greeley, and perhaps even Always Noble, Contante, and Kennel Up.

Good three-year old race on Thursday too. The sixth is a nine furlong, first-level allowance that has drawn some colts that have gotten some mention as ones to watch. Corinthian (Pulpit) was scratched at the gate in the Aventura; his prior was a maiden win at the Big A, and now he stretches out to two turns for Jimmy Jerkins. Todd Pletcher has Throng (Silver Deputy out of a half-sister to champion Vanlandingham), coming off a well-bet maiden win at a mile; he tries two turns as well. (Interestingly, these two contenders are both out of mares by Easy Goer.) Miner’s Lamp (Seeking the Gold) was a well-bet second to Keyed Entry in his last, and the half to Grand Slam goes beyond seven furlongs for the first time. War God (Ecton Park) graduated at Calder with the best Beyer in the field; could be one of those best Beyer overlays, but he too has never been beyond seven furlongs.

The only real contender who has won a two turn race is Jazil, who also gets a positive jockey switch to Cornelio Velasquez. He’s the type of horse I could really get into; a dead closer with classic bloodlines, the typical sucker horse like the aforementioned Prince Thou Art that always gets bet but rarely gets up. I’ve done a better job in recent years of avoiding these types, but I find myself inexorably drawn to them. It just seems so logical that they will just get better and better as the distance gets longer. I wrote about his last race and in detail on his pedigree in this post here; in short, he’s by Seeking the Gold out of a stakes winning Deputy Minister mare and his third dam is the foundation mare Best In Show. So I’ll be watching him in particular tomorrow; he could be an exciting prospect for Kiaran McLaughlin.