Heat leaves Special without Funny Cide

Respiratory condition forces Tagg's move

May 14, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Funny Cide won't make the trip from New York to run today in the Pimlico Special.

Barclay Tagg, his trainer, made the decision late yesterday afternoon after conferring with Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga Stable, which owns Funny Cide.

Winner of last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Funny Cide has a respiratory condition that worsens in hot, humid weather, Tagg said. He said earlier this week that he wouldn't run Funny Cide in the Special if it was too hot.

"Nobody wanted to run him more than I did," said Tagg, who trained in Maryland for three decades before relocating to New York. "I can't help it if we're having a heat wave."

Tagg is based at Belmont Park but still keeps a home in Maryland. Yesterday, he previewed horses at the Timonium fairgrounds, where an auction of 2-year-olds will be held Monday and Tuesday.

When he got into his car in the afternoon, an outside temperature gauge read 87 degrees. Ten miles later around the Beltway, it read 92 degrees.

"And it's supposed to be hotter tomorrow," he said. "When you run a sound horse who can't breathe, that's when they get hurt. This is a horse I want to have around awhile."

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