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� 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.