On July 4th I had the pleasure of seeing Funny Cide race...and win.
Depending on your familiarity with the sport of horse racing you may or may not care. Or maybe the name Funny Cide means nothing to you.
Four years ago you might have heard his name...it was nearly shouted from the rooftops as he narrowly missed becoming the 1st triple crown winner in a quarter of a century.
Four years later Funny is still racing. Consider the improbability of a seven year old horse, racing against thoroughbreds half his age and you might just take a moment to ponder it--for sentementality sake at least. This "gutsy gelding" still has the fire and it was thrilling to be able to watch it live and front of thousands of fans at Finger Lakes Racetrack...not the glory of the Derby or even the Preakness but a fine place to still show he can run his heart out.
If you didn't know this...Funny Cide isn't owned by a millionaire, a rap artist or someone of aristocratic background. He is owned by a group of middle class high school friends from Sacketts Harbor NY. They love their horse and they just get a kick out of the whole experience, which really has not spoiled their down-to-earth nature. I know just from talking to them. They were gracious enough to sign posters and memorabilia for fans for nearly three hours, chatting, laughing and kidding with everyone that passed by the line. Wonderful people...and maybe that's part of the magic behind this horse.
I like stories of the underdogs (or underhorses). Maybe that's why I was so drawn to Funny Cide's own story. Something improbable, something against the odds that happens to give you belief that life has possibility.
Going there and seeing him sail past those other horses just did my heart good. Mom and I could have cried when we ran out onto the track to try to get a glimpse of him in the winners circle. Alan Garcia, his jockey, mudsplattered and winded signed my poster. Sure, the Wadsworth Memorial wasn't the Kentucky Derby, but it was a win to give Funny back a champion's confidence.