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Funny Cide to race July 4th in NY

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  • Funny Cide to race July 4th in NY

    2003 Derby and Preakness winner will be racing at the Fingerlakes Race Track in Farmington, NY on July 4th.

    In conjuction to Funny Cide's appearence, Sackatoga Stables who own him, will also display trophy's won by him. And have a meet and greet.

    Sounds like a nice way to spend the day.
    R.I.P Vanny 26 yr QH Stallion 4/11/82 - 5/8/08, Scout 28 yr Paint Cross Gelding, Glistening 11 yr Arab/Saddlebred Mare

  • #2
    He'll be running in the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap. Here's the link to his webpage for anyone seeking more info (like I was):

    I hope it's a crushing victory. I couldn't stand the thought of Funny Cide losing at Finger Lakes. But I think the meet and greet idea is cool... great PR for the track, and the proceeds are going to benefit a good cause.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


    • #3
      Interesting and good for Finger Lakes - it took doubling the purse of the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap from $50k to $100k to make it happen.

      Officials at Finger Lakes have reached an agreement with the connections of Funny Cide to raise the purse of the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap from $50,000 to $100,000 in order to lure the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner to the western New York facility.

      The Wadsworth, a dirt race run at 1 1/8 miles, will be run July 4. It is believed to be the first time a Kentucky Derby winner will race at Finger Lakes. The decision to raise the purse was finalized Monday, said Finger Lakes president and general manager Chris Riegle, who had ongoing talks with Jack Knowlton, head of the Sackatoga syndicate which owns Funny Cide.

      "We've known Jack for a couple of years," Riegle said. "We had a couple of Funny Cide promotions before and he was interested in bringing the horse here."
      DRF June 4, 2007

      Sounds like a semi-farewell tour (or final race) for the fans and towns folks in largely near by Sackets Harbor to see him run


      • #4
        As a longtime supporter of FLTAP (one of my beasties was acquired from them last year) and with many personal (some all TOO personal) connections to the track including but not limited to exercise riding, grooming, running horses, and so on and so forth, I am pleased with the financial support that FLTAP will receive from this event as well as the positive publicity that the track will benefit from. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to be able make it as I'll be up there that weekend for Genessee Valley Hunt and can't head up as early as Wednesday.
        "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."


        • #5
          Oh, that's too bad, olympicdreams04. FLTAP is going to have a booth there that day, and it would have been nice to meet you.

          If anyone does come to the track that day, please look for the FLTAP booth, and stop by to say hello. I'll be there all day, as will a lot of the FLTAP volunteers that you know from this forum.

          It's so exciting to think that Funny Cide is actually going to be at Finger Lakes. I hope he draws a lot of folks who don't normally come to the track -- folks who will come back and support racing and folks who might not be aware of the wonderful work that FLTAP does.
          If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
          Desmond Tutu


          • #6
            As seems to be his modus operandi, Funny Cide puts in these wonderfully fast workouts giving everyone around him the feeling he could run the Preakness all over again.

            This time it was Saturday (June 17) on the Belmont main track where out of 26 horses he put in a time of 0:59.21 for five furlongs. That was the fastest even besting Invasor who likewise was breezing five furlongs that morning too and did it in 0:59.45.

            It will be interesting to see how much of a weight penalty Funny will be assigned and what the rest of the field gets as well in the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap.

            Some of the media coverage:

            Rochester Democrat & Chronicle June 7 "Four-legged superstar won't let us down"

            "We don't expect a walk in the park," Knowlton said. "That purse is going to attract some nice horses, and a mile and one-eighth isn't Funny Cide's best distance. He prefers a mile and a quarter."

            One likely challenger for Funny Cide figures to be Johnie Bye Night, the reigning Finger Lakes Horse of the Year, which won the Wadsworth last year and appears to be in peak condition. Owner-trainer Charlton Baker's 5-year-old gelding has won four straight stakes races at the track. His last start was a 6½-length romp May 28 in the George Barker Stakes. Funny Cide would have to catch him.
            Albany Times Union, June 7

            Trainer Barclay Tagg will not likely be at the event because he is scheduled to run Wood Memorial winner Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Dwyer at Belmont Park the same day. His assistant, Robin Smullen, will probably saddle Funny Cide. A jockey also will have to be found because Cornelio Velazquez, who rode Funny Cide to a third-place finish in the Wagon Stakes at Belmont on May 18, rides Nobiz Like Shobiz.

            "You would certainly like to win this race because it's a nice purse," Knowlton said. "He'll run his race and whatever happens, happens."
            I wonder what jockey they'll get for him, they've tried others such as Julie Krone once before on him in that horrid Breeders' Cup Classic effort in 2003 - finishing 9th.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post

              It will be interesting to see how much of a weight penalty Funny will be assigned and what the rest of the field gets as well in the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap.

              I have it on good authority he'll be carrying 215 lbs. They're toying with having Larry Jones ride him. He applied for his bug so he can start riding Hard Spun himself.

              Kidding, kidding...

              Robin has been with Funny from the start. She handles him more than Tagg. Although it will be interesting to see who they find to ride him.
              Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


              • #8
                Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                I have it on good authority he'll be carrying 215 lbs. They're toying with having Larry Jones ride him. He applied for his bug so he can start riding Hard Spun himself.
                Why do I picture that suggested scene looking a heck of a lot like this: with another cowboy.

                Robin has indeed been with Funny Cide since he was brought to Tagg's outfit and has been his exercise rider. Barclay has never really been terribly keen in his antics [he loved to rear up when he was 3-yrs old] or other difficult behavior.

                I suspect they'll look at picking up a jockey based at Finger Lakes myself as luring someone from Aq or Bel for a single ride will be tough and why not take someone who knows the track and might have a few rides across the surface earlier in the day. I'm sure a lot of jocks there would love to ride him! Who wouldn't want to say "I rode a dual Classic winner" once.


                • #9
                  Funny still is solidly working out - from Friday (6-22) morning:

                  Horse: Funny Cide
                  Date: June 22, 2007
                  Track: BELMONT PARK
                  Distance: Five Furlongs
                  Time: 1.00:76 Handily
                  Track Condition: Fast
                  Surface: Dirt
                  Rank: 4/9
                  (data courtesy of Equibase Company LLC)


                  • #10
                    Anyone actually from FL out there: I think Freddie should ride him. I have seen him wrangle ATLEAST two horses so far this year and he has some mad skillz at FastPonyCanter speed. I'm sure he could make an impromptu jockey if appropriately compensated.
                    "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by olympicdreams04 View Post
                      .. if appropriately compensated.
                      What are you saying - a six-pack of Funny Cide light beer, some left over Funny Cide hot sauce, and a scoup of Funny Cide Pride* (via Stewarts) ice cream won't cut it? How about beads and shells?

                      *Funny Cide Pride is/was: Butter Pecan ice cream with roasted pecans, a butter pecan fudge swirl, and butter pecan fudge pieces.

                      Flashback to when Funny was on top of the world


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                        What are you saying - a six-pack of Funny Cide light beer, some left over Funny Cide hot sauce, and a scoup of Funny Cide Pride* (via Stewarts) ice cream won't cut it? How about beads and shells?

                        *Funny Cide Pride is/was: Butter Pecan ice cream with roasted pecans, a butter pecan fudge swirl, and butter pecan fudge pieces.

                        Flashback to when Funny was on top of the world
                        If it's not Keystone, I'm not sure Freddie will drink it, but it's worth a shot. Chicken wings might have to accompany hot sauce. How do you think Funny would take to a western saddle. I've seen the way Freddie warily eyes those exercise saddles we ride in. I think you'd have to pry the western saddle out of his trampled, lifeless hands.
                        "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."


                        • #13
                          Finger Lakes is Rochester, effectly, and that means it is "Genny country" - not Keystone

                          Funny is pretty wide so a western saddle around him could be tougher. A Circle Y would have to be extra wide. I have however seen Tagg in a western saddle when ponying along side Funny Cide.


                          • #14
                            On the FL backside it seems like Keystone is the beer of choice. Much personal experience here (as I do NOT drink Keystone or anything of the sort and have been woefully sober far too often). I think Freddie and Funny, attired in western getup, can take home the purse hands down...if for no other reason than the rest of the jockey's falling from their mounts in fits of laughter.
                            "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."


                            • #15
                              A lengthy article on Funny Cide and running at Finger Lakes from The Saratogian June 30, 2007 "New York-bred racing icon to run again at smaller venue"


                              So what about this move, which some might view as a desperate attempt to regain some of Funny Cide's former glory?

                              Knowlton said that's not the case at all. He said bringing Funny Cide to Finger Lakes will give even more fans a reason to come to the races and watch a two-time Classic winner go to the gate in person.

                              "They've never had a horse of this stature there," Knowlton said. "This is clearly a big thing ... We got a lot of support from New York State in general, but particularly from the Watertown, Syracuse and Rochester areas ... The more people that get exposed to a champion race horse, the better it is for the game."
                              By the way Jockey Alan Garcia will get the mount

                              Another article: Associated Press June 30th "Funny Cide still racing at age 7"


                              [Funny Cide] is poised to become the first winner of a Triple Crown race to compete here since the track opened in 1962.

                              “I see nothing wrong, in fact, quite the contrary, from Funny Cide’s adventures in the bullrings,” said William Nack, who won seven Eclipse Awards for his coverage of thoroughbred racing. “It’s a homecoming bonus for the owners, who are from upstate New York. I wish more Derby winners would visit the county fair tracks around the country.”

                              “It’s a wonderful part of history. It’s great for the fans, great for the people,” said trainer Nick Zito, who raced 1991 Derby winner Strike The Gold until the age of 5. “I’m a Funny Cide fan. Look, he’s an old man, but on the other hand it’s good for racing. I don’t see any negative. He’s a gelding. I guess when he can’t race, they’ll just retire him.”

                              “If he wasn’t a gelding, he’d have been in a breeding shed a long time ago,” Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day said. “I think it’s great. It gives those people at Finger Lakes an opportunity to see a Derby winner up close and personal. He’s not just making an appearance, he’s going to participate. I think it’s awesome.”
                              Funny Cide might even cross paths with Zippy Chippy, who now works as an outrider at Finger Lakes track.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                                Funny Cide might even cross paths with Zippy Chippy, who now works as an outrider at Finger Lakes track.

                                I met Mr. Zippy Chippy a few weeks ago! He's quite the character!

                                The FLTAP booth should have lots of nice merchandise for fans of Funny Cide. Hope a lot of you will come to the track Wednesday!


                                • #17
                                  I will say that I take issue with some of the tone of the articles covering Funny Cide's impending race there at Finger Lakes. Folks just need to look at this for what it is: a horse race at a different track to be enjoyed by fans and competitors. If he doesn't win, so be it, and if he wins does it hurt anyone? Heck no.

                                  Times Union June 30 "Cide trip has horse racing on holiday"

                                  Steve Martin, the director of operations at Finger Lakes Racing and Gaming, says there could be a crowd of 8,000, which would be nearly double what a normal Fourth of July would bring in.

                                  In the 46 years of Finger Lakes, there has never been a Derby winner who ran there. There have been name horses, like Groovy (champion sprinter of 1987) and Safely Kept (champion sprinter of 1989), who have raced at Finger Lakes.

                                  Steve Cauthen rode at the Lakes on Sept. 24, 1978, the same year he rode Affirmed to the Triple Crown.

                                  But there has never been anything like this.

                                  "It will easily be the biggest day in the last 20 years," Martin said. "It could arguably be the biggest day in the history of Finger Lakes."


                                  • #18
                                    Funny Cide will be shipped to Finger Lakes the morning of the race. Stabled at Belmont now it shouldn't take too long to get him there in time.

                                    Ithaca Journal July 3, 2007 "Cide show: Finger Lakes track ready to host former Derby winner"

                                    Riegle said that there will be a Family Day at the Races, including live music and a barbecue for the holiday. The Finger Lakes Racetrack grandstand holds 7,000 people and is open to the public, but the dining room and reserved seating areas are sold out. The first 2,000 fans to enter will receive a Funny Cide button and Sakatoga Springs posters will be handed out.

                                    The Sackatoga Springs owners will also be on hand to sign the posters and there is a suggested donation to the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program, which goes to assisting in the placement of former Finger Lakes race horses with equine adoption agencies or approved private individuals.
                                    Daily Racing Form July 3, 2007 "Funny Cide comes to his people"

                                    "We got a lot of support from New York state in general, but particularly from the Watertown, Syracuse, and Rochester areas," Knowlton said. "The more people that get exposed to a champion racehorse, the better it is for the game."

                                    Citing a four-furlong move in 47.20 seconds on Thursday, Knowlton said: "Just look at his works. His last workout was not only a bullet, but the second-best work that day was by Invasor. Everything he shows tells us he still wants to be a racehorse."

                                    As for the Wadsworth, the only real threat to spoil Funny Cide's visit looks like Johnie Bye Night. A 5-year-old who is 4 for 4 at Finger Lakes, Johnie Bye Night won last year's Wadsworth by leading wire to wire. He stretches out off an easy win in the George W. Barker May 28.
                                    The field for the $100,000 Wadsworth Memorial Handicap - 8th race @ 4:19 eastern time

                                    P.P Horse Odds Jockey Wt.
                                    1 Rises The Phoenix 8-1 Alvarado, N. 114
                                    2 Tiger Speech 8-1 Messina, R. 113
                                    3 Johnie Bye Night 9-5 Davila, J., Jr. 119
                                    4 Out From Africa 20-1 Camejo, O. 103
                                    5 Funny Cide 6-5 Garcia, A. 123
                                    6 Mad Bob Cat 12-1 Castillo, E. 113
                                    7 Tommasi 5-1 Grabowski, J. 117
                                    8 Gebb's Power 20-1 Yang, C. 110
                                    The race will be available on the radio and internet radio too:

                                    Live coverage of the $100,000 stakes race will be available on WYSL 1040AM and on www.wysl1040.com

                                    Also on the web (delayed by 3 minutes) too:

                                    ESPN Video: choose Finger Lakes track, click


                                    • #19
                                      Related story ...

                                      Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle July 1 - Finger Lakes sets pace to help retired racehorses"

                                      "As strongly as I feel about the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children, I feel these babies are sometimes exploited, too," said Wanda Polisseni, owner of Purple Haze Stables and a major contributor to the program.

                                      "We don't want to send these horses out to stand in a pasture, we don't want to send them to the glue factory. They deserve another chance."

                                      There are other horse retirement organizations in the country, but the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program (www.fingerlakestap.org) is the industry's first to be based on track property.

                                      Thanks to a $150,000 donation by Polisseni and a $60,000 state grant secured by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, a 10,000-square-foot, 16-stall equine center will be built over the next 10 weeks.

                                      "I pinch myself all the time when I think about it," Ohlinger said after Friday's ceremonial groundbreaking. "I'm dumbfounded that we've been so successful so fast."


                                      • #20
                                        The volunteers for FLTAP are all very excited about tomorrow. I hope I see some of you there.
                                        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                                        Desmond Tutu