Sackatoga Stable Hosts Funny Cide’s Saratoga Send-Off

August 2, 2023

Funny Cide winning the 2003 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. (Photo courtesy of Jim McCue)

Sackatoga Stable Press Release

Champion and dual classic winner FUNNY CIDE (Distorted Humor), who passed away on July 16th at age 23, will have his life and racing achievements celebrated with a Saratoga Send-Off party on August 16th at Siro’s in Saratoga Springs. The event will be a tribute to “The Gutsy Gelding” who captured the hearts of racing fans worldwide and continued to be a fan favorite during his 15-year retirement at Kentucky Horse Park.

Presented by Sackatoga Stable, the evening will feature a tribute video and a panel discussion emceed by Retired Race Caller Tom Durkin who called Funny Cide’s wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The panel will also feature commentary by Sackatoga Stable Operating Manager and Funny Cide Owner, Jack Knowlton, Trainer Barclay Tagg, Assistant Trainer Robin Smullen and Hall of Fame Jockey José Santos. 

“Funny Cide was really the people’s horse,” Jack Knowlton said, “We know his loss is felt by many and we wanted to give his fans a chance to celebrate his life with us. We are grateful to everyone that is helping to make this event a reality and look forward to a night that will do his legacy justice.”

Funny Cide earned more than $3.5 million during his six-year racing career and was the first New York-Bred to win the Kentucky Derby. He was named New York Breeders’ Champion Two-Year-Old in 2002, Eclipse Award’s US Champion 3-Year Old Male in 2003, and was named New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ New York-Bred Horse of The Decade in 2010. Retiring in 2007, he spent a short time as Barclay Tagg’s pony before retiring to Kentucky Horse Park where he lived as a fan favorite for 15 years until the time of his death.

The evening’s activities will also feature food including Funny Cide sliders, music by Blue Hand Luke, Funny Cide’s trophies from his victories in the Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness S. (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup S. (G1) from Kentucky Horse Park and memorabilia from Jack Knowlton’s private collection, some of which will be available to take home with a donation.

Additionally, Stewart’s Shops is bringing back the popular “Funny Cide Pride” ice cream flavor in honor of the life of “The Gutsy Gelding”, who was born at McMahon Thoroughbreds of Saratoga. The ice cream combines Butter Pecan ice cream with roasted pecans, a butter pecan fudge swirl and butter pecan fudge pieces. It will first be available at the Funny Cide Send-Off celebration at Siro’s on August 16th. Following the event, the ice cream will be available at Stewart’s Shops in Saratoga County and the area around Sackets Harbor. 

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at General Admission tickets are $35 and include admission and food. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available for $100 and include admission, food, non-reserved seating, and a commemorative t-shirt. 

All proceeds from the evening will be donated to Kentucky Horse Park toward their effort to commission a commemorative statue in honor of Funny Cide. 

Doors open at 6pm. Rock band Blue Hand Luke will kick off the party. Attendees can purchase beverages at any of the open bars. Siro’s will be donating a portion of the bars’ proceeds to Kentucky Horse Park. 

Sackatoga Stable is grateful to all the generous sponsors who make this event possible: Brook Ledge Horse Transportation, Capital OTB, Fasig-Tipton, Finger Lakes Race Track, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, NYRA, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Performance Food Group, Pimlico Race Course, Saratoga County Chamber, US Foods and WinStar Farm. A special thanks to Siro’s for allowing Sackatoga Stable to hold this event.   

@jonathanstettin such a great read! In my car reading this on my lunch break with a huge smile.

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