Funny Cide Celebrates Fourth of July Retirement Anniversary

Exactly three years ago Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide crossed the finish line first, of course, for the last time in his racing career. On that Fourth of July, he won the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap, bringing his earnings to $3,529.412.

Funny Cide

Funny Cide happily resides at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions, seen here with handler Cathy Roby.

Where is he now? For the past 18 months, Funny Cide has lived in the Hall of Champions at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park. Funny and another racing legend, Cigar, have entered show business. They perform three shows a day for visiting horse lovers from around the world.

Funny Cide's part in each performance lasts about five minutes. "We show video of his 2004 Derby and Preakness wins, plus his 2004 Jockey Club Gold victory," explained Cathy Roby, Hall of Champions Supervisor. After his handlers briefly describe his background and personality, Funny enters the ring.

"He will go out there and pose for pictures," relates Roby. "On days when the weather is just right, he trots in and out of the ring."

As well as providing hands-on care for Funny, Roby enjoys watching his routine which includes a couple of daily prone naps, usually in his stall. He likes to lie down more than most other residents, and he savors rolling often throughout the day. "He moans and groans when he rolls," Roby said. Worried at first, staff contacted Barkley Tagg, Funny Cide’s former trainer. Tagg assured them that Funny always vocalized his delight during a good roll.

The good life has a drawback for Funny: weight gain. "We have to watch his weight and he now wears a grazing muzzle at night," Roby reported.

Does he miss racing? It appears so. With Cigar, winner of $8,069,815, in a nearby paddock, Roby observes, "They will kind of race each other. They each go down to the end of their paddocks and race to the barn."

The burning question; Who wins? Without hesitation, Roby laughingly answers, "Both of them."

About the Author

Marsha Hayes

Marsha Hayes has been covering endurance, trail, and other equine topics since 2005. She believes every horse has a story.

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