August 12, 2022

Champion Funny Cide retired

Last updated: 7/14/07 6:45 PM

Funny Cide traveled all over the country during his career
(Bill Denver/Equi-Photo)

Champion FUNNY CIDE (Distorted Humor), the New York-bred gelding who earned
legions of fans when capturing the 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S.
(G1) for Sackatoga Stable, has been retired. The seven-year-old compiled a mark
of 38-11-6-8 with a bankroll totaling $3,529,412.

Funny Cide signs off as a winner, on the heels of his three-length score in
the July 4 Wadsworth Memorial H. before a cheering multitude at Finger Lakes.
Trainer Barclay Tagg told The Blood-Horse that his convincing victory on
Independence Day was a major factor in the decision to call it a day.

“We decided that after the great fun and excitement of watching Funny Cide
win the Wadsworth Memorial at Finger Lakes at the age of seven, it would be a
good note on which to retire the horse,” Tagg said, adding that his charge
is sound.

Retirement won’t mean uprooting Funny Cide from his barn, for he will
remain with Tagg in the new capacity of stable pony.

Funny Cide flashed real talent as a juvenile, going three-for-three in
state-bred company. After sailing home by 14 3/4 lengths in his debut at Belmont
Park, the chestnut rolled by nine lengths in the Bertram F. Bongard S. and
showed courage to grind out a neck decision in the Sleepy Hollow S.

Stepping up in class for his three-year-old debut, Funny Cide ran creditably
as a rough-trip fifth in the Holy Bull S. (G3). He improved to finish third,
later elevated to second, in the Louisiana Derby (G2), and his smart runner-up
effort in the Wood Memorial S. (G1), when beaten only a half-length by Empire
Maker, confirmed that he was making significant progress at just the right time.

Funny Cide was sent off at 12-1 in the Run for the Roses, but he turned the
tables on 5-2 favorite Empire Maker, striding to a 1 3/4-length victory. In the
process, he became the first gelding to win the Derby since Clyde Van Dusen in
1929, and he remains the only New York-bred to wear the roses.

He stormed to a 9 3/4-length tally in the Preakness S. (G1), setting the
stage for a Triple Crown bid in the Belmont S. (G1) in his home state. On a
sloppy track, an overeager Funny Cide drove to the early lead, but couldn’t
last, ultimately checking in third behind his familiar foe, Empire Maker. He
wrapped up his sophomore campaign with a distant third in the Haskell
Invitational H. (G1) and a ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa

As an older horse, Funny Cide garnered additional prizes, including the
Jockey Club Gold Cup S. (G1) and Excelsior Breeders’ Cup H. (G3) in 2004 as well
as the Dominion Day S. (Can-G3) and Kings Point H. in 2006. Besides his nine
career stakes victories, he also placed in 13 stakes, most notably the Donn H.
(G1), Suburban H. (G1), Massachusetts H. (G2), Saratoga Breeders’ Cup H. (G2)
and New Orleans H. (G2).

Funny Cide kicked off 2007 in an allowance/optional claiming event at
Keeneland, but he didn’t take to the Polytrack and wound up seventh. He finished
third in both the Kings Point and Wagon Limit S. before his heroics at Finger

Bred by WinStar Farm, Funny Cide was produced by the winning Slewacide mare
Belle’s Good Cide, who is herself a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 queen Belle
of Cozzene (Cozzene). Ironically, he shares the same fifth dam as his archrival,
Empire Maker, with both tracing to Bravura (Niccolo dell’Arca). Funny Cide was a
$22,000 yearling purchase at Fasig-Tipton’s New York-bred sale at Saratoga and
was later acquired privately by Sackatoga Stable.

Saratoga Race Course will host a Funny Cide Day on August 10, with the
popular gelding scheduled to make an appearance as the guest of honor.