Sackatoga Stable's Eclipse-and-Classic-winning Funny Cide, whose 2004 graded victories included the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I), was again named New York-bred horse of the year at the 25th annual New York Thoroughbred Breeders' awards banquet held at the Desmond Hotel in Albany April 11.
The now 5-year-old gelding who has earned more than $3.1-million also picked up the New York-bred champion older male title for the 2004 season to go along with his previous championships of horse of the year and champion 3-year-old male for 2003 and champion 2-year-old male for 2002.
Funny Cide was not the only New York-bred graded or even grade I winner of 2004 to win a NYTB championship. Grade I winner Friend's Lake (co-champion 3-year-old male) and grade II winner Capeside Lady (co-champion 3-year-old filly) occupied such hotly-contested divisions that they tied for their respective championships with 2004 unbeaten rivals Commentator (three-for-three in 2004, including a record-setting performance in Keeneland's Perryville Stakes) and Sugar Punch (six-for-six in 2004), respectively.
Another NYTB championship winner who was unbeaten during the year was grade II winner Quantum Merit (champion turf male), whose three-for-three seasonal record included stakes victories at Belmont Park and Churchill Downs. Well Fancied, who had captured champion older male honors for 2003 off three stakes victories against New York-breds at distances ranging from seven to nine furlongs, won grade II and grade III stakes at seven furlongs in 2004 to secure his new title of champion sprinter.
Grade III winner Megascape took champion 2-year-old filly honors; champion 2-year-old male went to Galloping Grocer, winner of Belmont's Sleepy Hollow Stakes for New York-breds and a close runner-up in Aqueduct's Remsen (gr. II) to Rockport Harbor.
Board Elligible, whose 2004 stakes victories included a tally in Belmont's White Carnation Stakes on Belmont Stakes day, got the nod for champion older female. Sabellina, whose string of four consecutive victories during the summer of 2004 included Saratoga's Yaddo Handicap, received champion turf female honors, and Almost There was named champion steeplechaser.
Richard Migliore was named NYTB jockey of the year. Gary Contessa was recognized at NYTB trainer of the year.
Honored as NYTB breeders of the year were Chester and Mary Broman of Babylon, Long Island and Chestertown Farm in Chestertown.
Monica Driver's and Caroline Ferguson's now-deceased broodmare, Loose Wire, was posthumously awarded her third NYTB broodmare of the year title--influenced by the fact she was represented by her fourth stakes-winning offspring late last summer when New York-bred Clever Electrician scored back-to-back stakes victories at Saratoga and Belmont.
The banquet was jointly co-sponsored by the NYTB and the New York Breeding and Racing Program, and veteran NYRA track announcer Tom Durkin served as master of ceremonies.