Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner, died over the weekend, the gelding’s owners announced on social media. He was 23.
Funny Cide, which became a fan favorite when he became the 30th horse to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown in 2003, died on Sunday from complications of colic, Sackatoga Stable confirmed in a tweet.
“We are heartbroken at the news of Funny Cide’s passing this morning. What a ride The Gutsy Gelding took us on winning [the] Kentucky Derby & Preakness Stakes. We are so grateful to Kentucky Horse Park for giving our guy a wonderful retirement. To say we will miss him, is an understatement.”
According to BloodHorse, the horse earned more than $3.5 million in 38 starts and later retired in 2008.
“Funny Cide, you meant so much to not just my family, but the racing community,” former jockey Jose Santos Jr, who won the Preakness in 2003, wrote on Twitter. “You will be remembered by most for your grit, determination, will to win and being the champion no one could have expected.”
“By me, you will be remembered for the moments you gave our family. You are a family member to me. I felt so much comfort knowing if I was having a bad day I could get in the car to drive an hour to come see you. It hurts to know I’ve lost that, but I will never lose the memories you gave me, as well as the love I have for you. Fly high champion. You mean more to me than I can ever put into words. I love you Funny.”
Funny Cide lost the last leg of the Triple Crown when he finished third at the Belmont Stakes.
Funny Cide has been cared for at the Kentucky Horse Park for 15 years and will be cremated and buried there, according to BloodHorse.