Updated on 09/17/2011 12:12PM

Funny Cide walks, but will he run?

Funny Cide fans were on hand at Saratoga to get a peek at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner as he toured the sloppy paddock.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Even another torrential rainstorm in Saratoga couldn't keep Funny Cide's legion of fans away from their hero Wednesday. Though Mother Nature's fury delayed the chestnut gelding's entrance by 28 minutes on "Funny Cide Day," an appreciative throng estimated at around 1,000 was on hand 90 minutes before the first race to get a peek at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner as he toured the sloppy paddock.

"I was interested in seeing Funny Cide today because I'm not sure he's going to make it to the Travers," said Otis Kaktins, a fan from Albany who has been attending the races for 32 years.

That is indeed the million-dollar question. Was Funny Cide's 14-minute paddock appearance Wednesday the only time upstate fans will get to see him at this meet?

Trainer Barclay Tagg said Wednesday that a third blood test taken on Funny Cide was not "like I'd like to have it" and that if further tests don't come back satisfactory, the horse will skip the $1 million Travers on Aug. 23.

"If he's acting right, eating good, and his blood count's good, I'll run him," Tagg said. "If one of those things isn't right, I won't. It's that simple."

Funny Cide had a 102-degree temperature after he finished third in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 3. Two blood tests since then seemed to indicate he was recovering well, but a third test Wednesday showed an elevated count.

"It looked like it was perfect, then it went up a little bit, then down a little bit, then up again," Tagg said.

Tagg said that he hoped to breeze Funny Cide on Thursday but that the horse and the track would have to be in good shape. On Wednesday, heavy rain fell at 11:20 a.m. - 10 minutes before Funny Cide was supposed to be in the paddock - and again late in the afternoon, leaving the track muddy for the day's races.

Tagg said the Travers remains his goal, and other 3-year-old races such as the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 1 or the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 20 are not on his agenda.

"I'd like to run in the Travers if he's healthy," he said. "If he's not healthy, I don't know if he'll be healthy the rest of the year."

Dave Mahan, one of the 10 members of the Sackatoga Stable syndicate, which owns Funny Cide, said his group would not pressure Tagg into running him in the Travers.

"We as owners have nothing to say at all," Mahan said. "We have our fingers crossed and toes crossed. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. It'll be all right. There are a lot of nice races next year against older horses, and we'd like to be the older horse they've got to beat. It won't happen if we beat him up too much now."

Funny Cide schooled Wednesday with fellow Tagg-trained horses Island Fashion and Brusque. Funny Cide's handlers, Robin Smullen and Santos Cordoza, had a strong hold on the gelding as he took two tours in the paddock while having his picture taken frequently.

"He was more uptight than the other two were," Tagg said. "He's had some high times the last few months. He didn't need this, that's for sure."

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson