Barclay Tagg, meeting with the press after Funny Cide arrived at Pimlico.

Barclay Tagg, meeting with the press after Funny Cide arrived at Pimlico.

AP/Roberto Borea

Surprise! Funny Cide, Tagg Arrive Early at Pimlico

Barclay Tagg and Funny Cide arrived in Baltimore a day ahead of schedule, arriving at Pimlico Racecourse around 1:45 p.m. Friday afternoon. The trainer said the bad weather in the Baltimore area was the reason for shipping the day before the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). His earlier plan was to ship in from New York the morning of the race.

Funny Cide, winner of the Kentucky Derby (gr .I) two weeks ago, was settled into trainer Mary Eppler's barn on the backside at Pimlico. Tagg said his New York-bred gelding may jog around the track the morning of the race.

"I'll see how he eats and sleeps," he said. "And then may jog him once around in the morning."

Tagg said the decision to leave his Belmont Park base on Friday came around 8 a.m. It took about an hour to get the van and the personnel, and they were on the road for Baltimore. The Sackatoga Stable runner was given an easy jog and gallop over the Belmont surface before being loaded.

The likelihood of a wet track on Saturday didn't seem to bother Tagg too much. "He seems to have handled these kind of tracks in the morning," he said. "He doesn't seem to mind it. I'm sure it will be a muddy or drying-out track. He'll just have to like it."

As for strategy, Tagg offered, "I'd like to tuck in around the first turn." That may prove difficult as Funny Cide will break from post 9 in the 10-horse. "He's been training great," he said. "He seems fine to me. I have no excuses."