Three competitors from last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will meet on television Sunday when TVG screens the New Orleans Handicap from the Fair Grounds.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, in preparation for the Feb. 29 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds, breezed a bullet five furlongs Feb. 25 at Palm Meadows in South Florida.
Three grade I winners, headed by Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Funny Cide and Blue Grass (gr. I) and Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) winner Peace Rules, are among the nine horses likely for Sunday's $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Led by the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on Sunday, August 8, Thoroughbreds will compete for $3.35 million in graded stakes when Monmouth Park opens its 72-day season Saturday, May 29.
The 40th annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue hits the newsstands today and jockey Jose Santos and his wife, Rita, are included in the "Better Halves" section.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, who will start in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Gulfstream Park, schooled in the paddock before Friday's first race.
The first major showdown of the 2004 season takes place at Gulfstream Park Saturday as Funny Cide, last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner, meets Medaglia d'Oro, one of the best older horses in training, in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles.
The stars were out at Palm Meadows training center Tuesday morning following several days of bad weather, which forced the cancellation the Monday's Gulfstream card and most of Sunday's. Heading the 3-year-old workers was Read the Footnotes, who will make his debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I).
The race for 2004's leading older horse gets underway with the Feb. 7 $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park. The Donn Handicap is expected to lure a field of six or seven of the top handicap horses in the nation, led by Sackatoga Stable's classic winning champion Funny Cide.
Pleasantly Perfect, Funny Cide, Congaree, Medaglia d'Oro, and some top Kentucky Derby (gr. I) candidates are among the U.S.-based horses who have been invited to compete in one of the seven stakes races at Nad al Sheba on March 27, Dubai World Cup Day, when more than $15,000,000 will be offered in purses.
Mineshaft was named 2003 Horse of the Year at the 33rd annual Eclipse Awards, but it wasn't easy taking the spotlight away from Funny Cide, the New York-bred gelding who generated so much publicity during his memorable Triple Crown run last spring and was voted an Eclipse Award as outstanding 3-year-old male.
Eclipse Award voting has become extremely subjective in recent years. Because of several factors, such as shortened campaigns and the lack of a standout performer over a period of time, voters often have little in the way of ammunition when it comes time to crown a worthy champion. So, they must turn to intangibles.
The 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory by Funny Cide was voted the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year, officials said. It was one of 10 "moments" on the ballot.
Funny Cide, next scheduled to compete in the Feb. 7 Donn (gr. I), and Shake You Down, who is entered in this Saturday's Sunshine Millions Padua Stables Sprint, both worked on Tuesday.
- By Tom Keyser
After Funny Cide delighted racing fans with his sizzling victory at Gulfstream Park, the schedule for the popular New York-bred gelding included the Pimlico Special (gr. I), which could be canceled this year due to a purse shortfall.
Hawk Wing, winner of the Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I) by 11 lengths, topped the International Classifications for horses that raced in Europe and the U. S. in 2003.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide made an auspicious return to the races at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 11, drawing off for an impressive five-length win over American Style in a seven-furlong money allowance race.
Sackatoga Stable's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide has been entered in a seven-furlong allowance/optional claiming race on Saturday's card at Gulfstream Park.
The Juddmonte Farms juggernaut of owner/breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah and prominently represented by trainer Bobby Frankel and jockey Jerry Bailey is in position to add to its large collection of Eclipse Awards when the annual black-tie dinner is held Jan. 26 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla.
Dual Classic winner Funny Cide worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 in easy fashion Thursday morning at Palm Beach Downs. Funny Cide, a leading contender for an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old, is being pointed for the Feb. 7, $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
The Turf Publicists of America (TPA) will honor the fun-loving Sackatoga Stable crew from the tiny village of Sackets Harbor, N.Y., with its Big Sport of Turfdom Award.
Voting is underway at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Web site, www.ntra.com, for the fifth annual "NTRA Moment of the Year." Voters can choose from among 10 images, drawn from the year's racing through the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
New York's favorite gelding has headed south for the winter. Dual classic winner Funny Cide arrived at Gulfstream Park Wednesday morning.
The March 27 Dubai World Cup, worth $6 million, has attracted 84 nominations, including Pleasantly Perfect, Medaglia d'Oro, Funny Cide, and Congaree.
The Miami Herald, in a short notice that appeared in its Nov. 1, edition, said a misunderstanding occurred between a writer and jockey Jose Santos in connection with a story that questioned whether Santos carried an electrical device in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
It was 34 degrees in New York Thursday morning. The three New York-based horses for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) – Funny Cide, Volponi, and Evening Attire -- were a bit warmer as they tried to acclimate to the unusually hot weather in Southern California.
Bob Baffert wishes the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) was tomorrow. Make that today. The $4-million dollar race can't come too soon for Baffert, who says Congaree is doing super after suffering a quarter crack last week.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Funny Cide breezed six furlongs in 1:13 3/5 over Belmont's fast training track with exercise rider Robin Smullen aboard. It was the gelding's final work before heading out to Santa Anita Wednesday for a run in the Breeders' Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Because of a prior commitment, Jose Santos will ride Volponi in the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) instead of Funny Cide, whom he guided to victory in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I).
Trainer Barclay Tagg said Sunday morning that Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Funny Cide will make his next start in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) – Powered by Dodge.
Sackatoga Stable's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide will likely make his next start in the $250,000, nine-furlong Empire Classic as part of Belmont Park's "New York Showcase Fall Festival" on Saturday, Oct. 18.
By Lenny Shulman -- Remember the good old days when only injuries kept horses from running in the Breeders' Cup?
Grand Hombre has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the $400,000 Indiana Derby (gr. III) Oct. 4 at Hoosier Park. Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando is second choice at 5-2 in a field of 11 scheduled to compete in the 1/16-mile feature at the Indiana racetrack.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Funny Cide showed he's ready for whatever trainer Barclay Tagg has in store for him, breezing five furlongs in :59 2/5 at Belmont Tuesday.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr.I) winner Funny Cide had his first work over the turf Wednesday morning, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:03, and it was not what trainer Barclay Tagg was looking for. Tagg said the gelding's plans still are up in the air.
Dual Classic winner Funny Cide along with Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi top a list of 29 nominations for this year's 26th running of the Oct. 3 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, who has not run since finishing a well-beaten third in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I), had his first work since that race, breezing a half Friday morning in :48 1/5.
- By Mike Kane
Despite a wet start to the season and the absence of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner Funny Cide in the Travers (gr. I), the 135th Saratoga meeting ended Monday with records for attendance and handle.
After two months of hype, the much-anticipated rematch between Funny Cide and Empire Maker in Saturday's Travers (gr. I) fell through. With his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner still feeling the effects of an illness contracted after the Haskell Invitational Aug. 3, trainer Barclay Tagg declared Funny Cide out of the $1 million race Friday morning.
Triple Crown race winners Funny Cide and Empire Maker remain on the "if" list for Saturday's Travers (gr. I). If this happens, they will go to the post for the $1 million race. It that happens, they won't.
Saratoga Notebook: Dollase's Rare Shot; Wild and Wicked Sharp; Sackatoga Boys Want the Bus; Samyn Stunned in Fall
With Ten Most Wanted, Wally Dollase, who sent out Deputy Commander to win the 1997 Travers (gr. I) is attempting to become the first trainer in more than a half-century to win the Midsummer Derby with both father and son.
A field of eight passed the entry box Wednesday morning for the $1 million Travers Stakes. How many will run is another story. The big news was Funny Cide entering after two weeks of "doubtfuls" and "highly unlikelys," from trainer Barclay Tagg.
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, whose status for Saturday's Travers Stakes has been termed "highly unlikely" by trainer Barclay Tagg, took a step closer to entering Wednesday when he worked a half-mile in :47 4/5 Tuesday morning.
Whether or not Funny Cide runs in the Travers (gr. I) on Saturday may not be answered when entries are taken Wednesday. Trainer Barclay Tagg said Monday morning he would consider buying some more time for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner by entering the horse in the $1 million race.
Trainer Barclay Tagg acknowledged that Funny Cide is unlikely to make it to Saturday's Travers (gr. I). The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner spiked a temperature on Aug. 4, the morning after he finished a well-beaten third in the Haskell Invitational (gr. I) and hasn't had a workout. Tagg said this week that he didn't like the results of a blood test and that the horse hasn't been eating all his food.
Saratoga Notebook: Frankel Drills Troops; Sky Mesa Dodges Bullet; Funny Cide Update; Strong Hope 'Super'
Looking to beat the rain, Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel had several of his top stars on the main track Saturday morning, led by likely Travers (gr.I) favorite Empire Maker.
Racing was held as scheduled at Saratoga Friday, with only a few changes necessitated by the power outage Thursday that affected an estimated 50 million people in the United States and Canada.
Saratoga Notebook: No Budging Tagg; Wild and Wicked in Travers; Sackatoga Breaks Maiden; Mud Delays Sky Mesa
Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide was worked on by a chiropractor Thursday morning and his status for the Travers (gr.I) remains in question.
Thousands of people in a crowd of 22,580 waited patiently in the rain Wednesday morning for a brief look at Kentucky Derby (gr.I) and Preakness (gr.I) winner Funny Cide and to get autographs from his connections at Funny Cide Day at Saratoga Race Course.
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