"Funny Cide will be a welcome addition to our Hall of Champions," said John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. "He was one of those rare horses who captured the public's imagination while he was on the track and continues to have a significant following of loyal fans."
Funny Cide was retired last year after earning more than $3.5 million for Sackatoga Stable. Trained by Barclay Tagg, he was named 2003 champion three- year-old. Along with winning the first two legs of the 2003 Triple Crown, he was third in the Belmont Stakes and Haskell Invitational.
The eight-year-old gelding has served as Tagg's stable pony since being retired.
"The rigors of racing and training for several years have started to cause him mild discomfort recently as he continued working on a regular basis as my stable pony," noted Tagg. "So, now the time has come, as he is turning nine- years-old, to really retire."
Funny Cide won a total of nine stakes, including both the Excelsior Handicap and Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2004.
"We have been fortunate and very blessed to have had Funny Cide in our lives," said assistant trainer Robin Smullen. "He has changed people's perspective about horse racing. Realistically, he is a once in a lifetime horse and now he will be able to touch other people's lives in his retirement. We will miss him dearly in our daily schedule."
Another former champion, Azeri, will be part of Keeneland's January Sale next month. The 2002 Horse of the Year is in foal to 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper.
"Azeri is truly a once-in-a-lifetime mare, and the fact that she is in foal to Ghostzapper, another Horse of the Year, makes her even more special," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales.
Owned by the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, Azeri earned Eclipse Awards as champion older mare three straight years beginning in 2002. The winner of 17 of 24 career starts, she earned better than $4 million.
"Keeneland has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Paulson family," continued Russell, "and we are honored to have the opportunity to offer Azeri in the January Sale."