Funny Cide, the gelding who rose to popularity after winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2003, died Sunday in Lexington, Ky. He was 23.
According to published reports, Funny Cide died of complications of colic.
Funny Cide became the horse of the people after stunning wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The New York-bred horse’s bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978 came up empty when he finished third in the Belmont Stakes. Empire Maker won the race conducted on a rainy day.
Owned by Sackatoga Stable and trained by Barclay Tagg, Funny Cide’s emergence as a 3-year-old was largely unexpected.
But it led to a national following and he later served as a celebrity thoroughbred at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs,N.Y. He spent the final 15 years of his life at Kentucky Horse Park.
“He’s one of the best and he just did a lot for us in every way,” Tagg told the Thoroughbred Daily News. “Some horses are great race horses. Some of them are good friends. He just had a lot of charisma with him.”
Funny Cide earned over $3.5 million in his racing career, winning 11 of 38 races.
–Field Level Media