Cide Slide FROM TRIPLE CROWN THREAT TO LOVABLE LOSER

February 16, 2004

They were together for a moment, Medaglia d'Oro riding the rail
and America's darling, Funny Cide (far left), glued to his flank,
as they hit the far turn in last Saturday's Donn Handicap at
Gulfstream Park. Then Medaglia d'Oro shrugged and dusted the
Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ, busting clear to win by
4 3/4 widening lengths. "I got very close to him," said Funny
Cide's jockey, Jose Santos, "but he was too much. Too much."

It was clear, after Funny Cide finished third, that he's no
superhorse. He's merely a good one, with a great backstory, who
peaked at an opportune time. During his scintillating Triple
Crown bid last spring, the gelding was seen as racing's savior, a
flashy winner who, with no chance of being put out to stud, would
enjoy a lengthy career for the 10 average Joe owners who bought
him for $75,000. Since last year's Preakness, Funny Cide has won
just once in seven starts. Before the Donn, trainer Barclay Tagg
floated the shocking idea that he might drop Funny Cide into a
claiming race, one of those low-prestige affairs from which the
horse could be bought for perhaps $100,000. Say it ain't so,
average Joes. --Daniel G. Habib

COLOR PHOTO: MATT DEAN/EQUI-PHOTO/AP (FUNNY CIDE)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)