Funny Cide Schools in Belmont Paddock

(from Belmont track notes)
Jack Knowlton and Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide, the first New York-bred to win the Kentucky Derby, schooled in Belmont Park's paddock Saturday afternoon for about 15 minutes after the second race.

Funny Cide entered the paddock flanked by assistant trainer Robin Smullen and groom Zacarias Quintana and was led twice around the walking ring without a saddle. The gelding was then walked behind the saddling stalls before he entered a stall to be saddled. Funny Cide appeared frisky at all times, acknowledging a crowd of well-wishers and kicking the side of the saddling stall. Once saddled, he was led around the walking ring twice more before reentering the stall to have the saddle removed.

"I thought he needed more schooling," trainer Barclay Tagg said when asked what he hoped to accomplish. "It gave him another crowd to get used to. I wouldn't want to have to school him twice at Pimlico."

Tagg said plans have not been finalized for Funny Cide's trip to Pimlico for the May 17 Preakness.

"I want to go to Baltimore as late as I can and I don't know when that is," Tagg said.

Funny Cide is likely to have his final Preakness work Tuesday at Belmont after the renovation break. While Tagg said final work plans can change, the gelding is slated to go a half-mile and gallop out a strong five-eighths. If the weather is nasty Tuesday, Tagg said Funny Cide could work Monday.

On Preakness Day, Tagg said Funny Cide would be saddled inside rather than on the turf course because he feels the indoor paddock will be quieter. Tagg is also seeking a quiet place to stable Funny Cide at Pimlico.