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Kentucky Derby Winner Funny Cide Returns to Churchill Downs to Greet Medal of Honor Recipients

| Churchill Downs Communications | 10/04/2011 #
  • Jockey Jose Santos celebrated aboard Funny Cide following their victory in the 2003 Kentucky Derby.

Sackatoga Stable’s Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby and one of the most popular winners of the “Run for the Roses” in recent years, will return to the site of his greatest triumph when he travels to Churchill Downs on Saturday, Oct. 1 to greet living recipients of the United States’ Medal of Honor and other guests as part of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Convention underway this week in Louisville, Ky.

Funny Cide, who is now 11 years old and resides at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., will be in Churchill Downs paddock as Medal of Honor recipients and guests arrive for a noon (all times Eastern) luncheon and other activities at the historic home of the Kentucky Derby.  He is scheduled to travel Churchill Downs by van  from the Kentucky Horse Park Saturday morning, and will walk from the stable area to the paddock around 11:15 a.m.. Funny Cide will be available to pose for pictures with Medal of Honor recipients while in the paddock.

Saturday’s Congressional Medal of Honor Convention gathering at Churchill Downs is a ticketed event and is not open to the general public.

“This is really wonderful,” said Jack Knowlton, the managing partner of Sackatoga Stable via telephone from Saratoga Springs, NY.  “We are honored to have Funny Cide be part of this special day that honors America’s greatest heroes.  The Medal of Honor is our country’s highest military honor and its distinguished recipients displayed incredible bravery, character and compassion in the most difficult of situations.    In our sport and industry, there is no greater achievement than winning the Kentucky Derby, one of the world’s great sports events, and we hope Funny Cide’s presence as one of only 137 horses that have won this historic race will make the visit to Churchill Downs by the Medal of Honor recipients even more memorable and special.” 

Funny Cide followed his Kentucky Derby victory with an emphatic 9 ¾-length victory in the Preakness, the second jewel of racing’s Triple Crown, but fell short in his bid for that rare three-race sweep when he finished third to Empire Maker in the Belmont Stakes.  The first gelding to win the Kentucky Derby since 1929, the New York-bred son of Distorted Humor was named America’s champion 3-year-old of 2003.  He raced four more seasons and completed his career with a win in the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap at New York’s Finger Lakes on July 7, 2007.

Bred by WinStar Farm and rained by Barclay Tagg, Funny Cide raced 38 times in his career with a record of 11-6-8 and earnings of $3,529,412.  He moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in December, 2008 after a brief career as a stable pony for Tagg’s New York-based stable.