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HomeRacing2003 Kentucky Derby Winner Humorous Cide Dies at 23

2003 Kentucky Derby Winner Humorous Cide Dies at 23


Sackatoga Stables’ 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Humorous Cide  has died on account of issues of colic at 23 years outdated.

The son of Distorted Humor had been residing on the Corridor of Champions on the Kentucky Horse Park for the previous 15 years. He can be cremated and buried there. A winner of $3,529,412 in 38 begins, the gelding retired in 2007 with a report of 11-6-8 for coach Barclay Tagg.

Sackatoga Stables’ managing associate Jackson Knowlton would commonly go to Humorous Cide and even host periods on the Corridor of Champions, giving followers a first-hand account of Humorous Cide’s memorable spring and what it was like as an proprietor to expertise these thrills.

“We’re heartbroken on the information of Humorous Cide’s passing this morning. What a journey The Gutsy Gelding took us on profitable the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes,” Sackatoga Stables tweeted July 16. “We’re so grateful to Kentucky Horse Park for giving our man an exquisite retirement. To say we are going to miss him, is an understatement.”

Knowlton instructed BloodHorse contributor Tim Wilkin, “He modified my life.”

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The Kentucky Horse Park will feel the loss. Last year Hall of Champions manager Rob Willis said in telling the story of Funny Cide’s classic wins, fans and people less familiar with racing alike would recall the school bus the Sackatoga Stables partners took to the Derby and other big races.

“Funny Cide, by far, is the Horse Park’s most famous, popular horse,” Willis said. “A lot of people come here and I’ll start telling the story of the school bus and the 10 high school buddies getting together (as his owner). There’s always somebody in the crowd who says, ‘Oh, I know that horse.’

“Once you have that in, and you start talking with them about racing, they want to continue on and talk more about breeding and the Thoroughbred business overall. It’s really a treat to see, and to see them leave here very satisfied.”

We are heartbroken at the news of Funny Cide’s passing this morning. What a ride The Gutsy Gelding took us on winning @KentuckyDerby & @PreaknessStakes. We’re so grateful to @KyHorsePark for giving our man an exquisite retirement. To say we are going to miss him, is an understatement.💔

— Sackatoga Steady LLC (@sackatogastable) July 16, 2023

Undefeated at 2, New York-bred Humorous Cide received on first asking at Belmont Park and adopted with victories within the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes and Sleepy Hole Stakes.

The following 12 months he was second within the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Wooden Memorial Stakes (G1) earlier than reaching his finest type proper on time. He would seize the Kentucky Derby by 1 3/4 lengths over Derby favourite Empire Maker , who had edged Humorous Cide by a half-length within the Wooden Memorial. With the win, Humorous Cide turned the primary gelding to win the Derby since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929. Humorous Cide would then blitz his Preakness Stakes rivals beneath common rider and eventual Corridor of Famer Jose Santos, drawing off within the stretch to attain by 9 3/4 lengths.

Funny Cide, winning the 2003 Kentucky Derby.

Picture: Mike Corrado

Humorous Cide profitable the 2003 Kentucky Derby

“Humorous Cide, you meant a lot to not simply my household, however the racing group,” Santos tweeted Sunday. “You may be remembered by most to your grit, dedication, will to win, and being the champion nobody may have anticipated.

“By me, you can be remembered for the moments you gave our household. You’re a member of the family to me. I felt a lot consolation figuring out if I used to be having a nasty day I may get within the automobile to drive an hour to come back see you. It hurts to know I’ve misplaced that, however I’ll by no means lose the reminiscences you gave me, in addition to the love I’ve for you. Fly excessive champion. You imply extra to me than I can ever put into phrases. I really like you Humorous.”

Jose gives Funny Cide a well deserved hug after the Derby.Picture: Alexander Barkoff

Jose Santos hugs Humorous Cide after the Kentucky Derby

He would come up brief in his pursuit of the Triple Crown, ending third to Empire Maker within the Belmont Stakes (G1). Humorous Cide closed out his 3-year-old marketing campaign with a third-place end within the Haskell Invitational Handicap (G1) and an off-the-board end within the Breeders’ Cup Basic (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

After the Derby win Tagg’s assistant Robin Smullen, the regular exercise rider of Funny Cide, recalled that Tagg knew he had a talented horse.

“Barclay was in New York and he told me right from the beginning this horse was very special,” Smullen said. “He did things so easily, and he’d gallop by everything on the racetrack. But he became difficult to gallop. I was at Delaware (Park) at the time and Barclay had some 90-pound freelance riders on him. He ran off one day at Saratoga and bucked his shins. Since then, no one has been on him in the morning but me.

“We got him straightened out and he was ready to rock and roll.”

At 4 he ran third in the Donn Handicap (G1) and New Orleans Handicap (G2) before winning the Excelsior Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G3) in April at Aqueduct. During the summer, he was second in the Massachusetts Handicap (G2), Saratoga Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G2), and third runner-up in the Suburban Handicap (G1). He then earned another top-level win with a victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) back at Belmont Park. He closed out the year with an off-the-board finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Lone Star Park.

Racing to age 7, gelding Funny Cide would nail down three more stakes wins, the 2006 Kings Point Handicap at Aqueduct and Dominion Day Stakes (G3) at Woodbine, and then in his last year on the oval in 2007 he went out with a win in the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap, winning by three lengths.

2003 ⁦@KentuckyDerby⁩ and ⁦@PreaknessStakes⁩ winner Humorous Cide died early Sunday morning from issues from colic at ⁦@KyHorsePark⁩, the place he lived the final 15 years. Humorous Cide was 23. “He modified my life,” Jack Knowlton of ⁦@sackatogastable⁩ stated.

— Tim Wilkin (@tjwilkin) July 16, 2023

WinStar Farm bred Humorous Cide out of the Slewacide mare Belle’s Good Cide. As a yearling, he was bought for $22,000 by Tony Everard through the Fasig-Tipton New York Most popular Yearling Sale of 2001. Everard offered preliminary coaching of Humorous Cide after which bought him for $75,000 to Tagg on behalf of Sackatoga.

Humorous Cide was a three-time New York Champion at 2, 3, and as an older horse. He was the New York Horse of the 12 months from 2002-2004.

Funny Cide with Wes Lanter at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington, Ky. on July 24, 2013Picture: Anne M. Eberhardt

Humorous Cide with Wes Lanter in 2013 on the Kentucky Horse Park’s Corridor of Champions close to Lexington


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