FARMINGTON, N.Y. (AP) - Four years after making a run at a Triple Crown, "Funny Cide" returned to the winner's circle at a track far removed from the majesty of Churchill Downs.
The 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner captured the 31st running of the 100-thousand-dollar Wadsworth Memorial Handicap yesterday at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in upstate New York. He drove past pace-setting "Johnie Bye Night" down the stretch and pulled away by three lengths at the finish.
The seven-year-old Funny Cide had not won in six straight outings, but the mile-and-an-eighth test for three-year-olds and up proved to his liking, and a near-record crowd of more than 12-thousand cheered his every stride. He covered the distance in one minute, 51 and three-quarters seconds despite an uncharacteristic slow break from the gate.
It was the first time a Derby winner had raced at Finger Lakes since the track opened in 1962 and a rarity in this day and age. In the past six decades, only two other Derby winners -- 1946's "Assault" and 1959's "Tomy Lee" -- have raced at age seven.