NO. R-200.  Senate concurrent resolution congratulating the commonperson's horse, Funny Cide, on winning the first two jewels of the 2003 horse racing triple crown.

(S.C.R.28)

Offered by:  Senator Sears of Bennington County, Senator Bloomer of Rutland County and Senator Bartlett of Lamoille County.

Whereas, the triple crown of horse racing, consisting of the “run for the roses,” better known as the Kentucky Derby held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, the Preakness run at Baltimore’s Pimlico, and the Belmont Stakes staged most appropriately at Belmont Park Race Track in New York, is the crème de la crème, and

Whereas, horse racing has long been known as the sport of kings as the sport’s earliest fans comprised members of royalty, the nobility, and the aristocracy, and

Whereas, even in the 21st century, the owners of triple crown racers, let alone winners, are almost exclusively the nation’s wealthiest individuals, and

Whereas, in 2003, this almost universal ownership pedigree was shattered as Funny Cide, a gelding owned by the tiny Sackatoga Stable of upstate New York, strove to victory in Louisville, capturing the Kentucky Derby and becoming the first gelding to win the race since 1929, and

Whereas, this stable was established by six former high school buddies in 1995 who each contributed $5,000.00 to this highly speculative endeavor, and

Whereas, Funny Cide’s veteran jockey, Jose Santos, was unfairly subjected to a false and premature news story speculating on his use of an unauthorized instrument to accelerate Funny Cide’s running pace, and

Whereas, while this inappropriate rush to judgment was ultimately acknowledged, it unfairly, even though only briefly, tarnished one of racing’s finest jockeys whose stellar record of accomplishment is worthy of praise, and

Whereas, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, Funny Cide again proved his racing caliber as he won The Preakness, the triple crown’s second jewel, and

Whereas, the proud trainer, Barclay Tagg, deserves special kudos for his efforts, and

Whereas, to paraphrase the writings of Mark Twain, Funny Cide may have been born a pauper, but has earned the honors afforded a prince in his stellar two triple crown outings to date, and

Whereas, horse racing fans everywhere are now rooting for Funny Cide to become the first triple crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, and

Whereas, this truly most uncommon race horse has strong ties to the Saratoga, New York racetrack located near the Vermont border, and

Whereas, Funny Cide’s unusual ownership has opened a new era in the fielding of championship race horses, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates the owners, trainer, jockey, and all those associated with the success of Funny Cide, which is truly one of the inspiring tales of American small business, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Jose Santos and Barclay Tagg at Belmont Park Race Track in Elmont, New York, and to Jackson Knowlton at the Sackatoga Stable in Sackets Harbor, New York.