05/15/2003 11:00PM

Funny Cide arrives at Pimlico

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BALTIMORE, Md. - Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide arrived in Baltimore for the Preakness just before 2 p.m. on Friday as trainer Barclay Tagg decided to ship him earlier than planned. The gelding left New York on a van at 9:20 a.m.

"With the weather the way it is I didn't want to take any chances," Tagg said in a Friday afternoon press conference in the Pimlico press box.

Heavy rains hit Baltimore Saturday morning and were heading to New York for late afternoon and evening. Originally, Tagg was planning to ship Funny Cide to Baltimore in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Funny Cide is stabled on the backstretch in barn 3 with Mary Eppler's horses.

Tagg said it is likely he will send Funny Cide out Saturday morning for a jog.

When asked about the prospect of running over an off-racetrack, Tagg said: "He seems to have handled that kind of track in the morning. He'll either like it or he won't do it."