Funny Cide Works Over Sloppy Belmont Track

Edited track release
Sakatoga Stable and Jackson Knowlton's Funny Cide, the New York-bred runner-up in the grade 1 Wood Memorial, breezed a half-mile around the "dogs" in :48 on Belmont Park's sloppy main track Tuesday morning. Robin Smullen, assistant to trainer Barclay Tagg, was aboard for the work.

"I told Robin that if the track looked safe to her, to go ahead and work him," said Tagg, who was at Keeneland on Tuesday morning. "He ran in the slop (sealed, muddy track) in the Wood Memorial, and it is too late to be playing around with his schedule. I had him down to work today and next Tuesday and then ship to Churchill Downs next Wednesday. So, he's right where he is supposed to be."

A gelded son of Distorted Humor-Belle's Good Cide, by Slewacide, Funny Cide could join seven geldings who have won the Kentucky Derby: Vagrant (1876); Apollo (1882); Macbeth II (1888); Old Rosebud (1914); Exterminator (1918); Paul Jones (1920) and Clyde Van Dusen (1929). The closest any gelding has come since were second-place finishes by Best Pal (1991), Prairie Bayou (1993), and Cavonnier (1996).

Meanwhile, Tagg is on a very tight schedule of his own.

"I'm entered in a stakes race here at Keeneland tomorrow, but we're on the also-eligibles," Tagg said of Macaw (Ire), who is entered in Wednesday's grade III Elkhorn Stakes. "If we don't get in, I'll try to find an allowance race. Then, I have to go to Maryland and straighten some things out, go back to New York and run some horses and ship back to Kentucky with Funny Cide. Somebody asked me if I was excited about running in the Kentucky Derby. I told them I've been running so ragged I haven't had a chance to think about it."