Indignant Tagg Calls Santos Probe 'Absurd'

Indignant Tagg Calls Santos Probe 'Absurd'
Photo: AP Photo/John Marshall Mantel
Jackson Knowlton, right, one of Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide's owners, and Barclay Tagg, the horse's trainer, answer questions from the media in the Belmont Park paddock Saturday.
(from Preakness release)
Funny Cide's trainer Barclay Tagg responded with indignation to the Kentucky Racing Commission investigation into whether rider Jose Santos may have been carrying an illegal object when he rode the New York-bred to victory in last Saturday's Run for the Roses.

"It's absurd," said Tagg from Belmont Park where he schooled the Derby winner in the paddock. "Terry Meyocks (NYRA President) has blown the picture up. It is clear as day. You can see right through his whole hand. You can see the colors and horses ear. I don't know what they are talking about. They're nuts."

With the news of the investigation, trainer Bobby Frankel has decided to point Derby runner-up Empire Maker to the Preakness Stakes. If Funny Cide is disqualified from the Derby then Empire Maker would be declared the winner. Earlier, Frankel told Pimlico officials that Empire Maker would skip the Preakness and that he would run either Peace Rules or Midas Eyes in the middle jewel of the Visa Triple Crown

"The stewards (Kentucky) called Frankel and said he better run his horse because something is going on," added Tagg. "I don't know why anyone would make those kind of statements before they blow the picture up to investigate. It doesn't make any sense. I don't understand it."

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