Funny Cide, the first New York-bred to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both grade I), and who captivated fans with his pursuit of the 2003 Triple Crown, will be celebrated with a retirement party Aug. 10 at Saratoga.
The Sackatoga Stable gelding, who was foaled near Saratoga, will receive a retirement send-off at his hometown racetrack that will feature a party for fans in the backyard; a poster giveaway and autograph signing by Hall of Fame jockey Jose Santos; a post-parade appearance by the 2003 Eclipse Award winner on the main track; a Rolex watch giveaway; and even a unique ice cream flavor named after him.
Presented by the New York Racing Association and New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing Program, the highlight of the day’s activities will be Funny Cide’s first public appearance since owner Jack Knowlton and trainer Barclay Tagg announced his retirement just prior to the start of the 2007 Saratoga meet. The 7-year-old gelding, who earned more than $3.5 million, was retired shortly after winning the final race of his career, the July 4 Wadsworth Memorial Handicap at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racing. More than 10,000 people were on hand for that race.
“Funny Cide was a galvanizing force for both the sport’s most devoted fans and for the casual observer,” NYRA president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said in a release. “Just like Seabiscuit, who helped rekindle America’s passion for horse racing, Funny Cide reignited America’s love affair with the game. We are proud to host him and his connections, including Jack Knowlton and Sackatoga Stable, trainer Barclay Tagg, and Hall of Fame jockey Jose Santos, on this most memorable day.”
Funny Cide’s trophies from his victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) will be on display near the Silks room courtesy of Sackatoga Stable and breeder WinStar Farm.
The day’s festivities will culminate with a retirement party held at the Big Red Spring following the races. Rock band Blue Hand Luke will kick off the party with music from 5:30–7:30 p.m. EDT. Fans can purchase food and beverages. All proceeds from the sale of Budweiser beer will benefit the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.