Updated on 09/17/2011 10:25AM

What no New York-bred has ever done

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Funny Cide, ridden by Jose Santos, becomes the first New York-bred ever to win the Kentucky Derby. He paid $27.60 to win after outlasting the favored Empire Maker (center).

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Funny Cide, second to Empire Maker in the Wood Memorial three weeks earlier, turned the tables on the highly regarded favorite and struck a great blow for his home state by becoming the first New York-bred to ever win the on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

In addition to becoming the first New York-bred to win the race, Funny Cide also became the first gelding to win the Derby since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929. There had been 74 losing geldings since then.

Funny Cide gave both jockey Jose Santos and trainer Barclay Tagg their first Derby victories. Santos, 42, had ridden in six previous Derbies. His best finish was a fourth with Cryptoclearance in 1987. This was the first Derby starter for Tagg, 65, who gave considerable credit to his assistant, Robin Smullen, the exercise rider for Funny Cide.

Funny Cide, who won by 1 3/4 lengths, outlasted a tag team from trainer Bobby Frankel, with Empire Maker finishing second and Peace Rules third. Atswhatimtalknbout, who broke poorly, was finishing fastest of all in the final yards and was fourth, beaten two lengths.

"I think he was finishing best," said David Flores, who rode Atswhatimtalknbout. "I got into trouble and I couldn't get out. I was in behind a wall looking for any little spot."

Eye of the Tiger was fifth and was followed, in order, by Buddy Gil, Outta Here, Ten Cents a Shine, Ten Most Wanted, Domestic Dispute, Scrimshaw, Offlee Wild, Supah Blitz, Indian Express, Lone Star Sky, and Brancusi. Sir Cherokee was scratched Friday with a hairline fracture to his right hind leg.

Funny Cide completed 1 1/4 miles on the fast main track in 2:01.19.

A crowd of 148,530, the fifth-largest in Derby history, attended the 129th Derby, which was run on a sunny, spring-like afternoon. Funny Cide was the seventh choice in the field of 16 and paid $27.60 to win.

Empire Maker floated up to the 5-2 favorite, with the public backing off him from his 6-5 morning line in light of his highly publicized foot bruise the middle of the week, which caused his training schedule to be interrupted. Frankel conceded that the lack of activity might have caught up to Empire Maker in the final yards.

"It might be that a little missed training might have cost him the race," Frankel said.

Funny Cide, by Distorted Humor out of the Slewacide mare Belle's Good Cide, was sold as a yearling for a mere $22,000. He is owned by the Sackatoga Stable, a group of friends from Sacketts Harbor, N.Y., whose partnership is managed by Jackson Knowlton. Sackatoga purchased Funny Cide privately for $75,000 last year.

This was the fourth victory in seven starts for Funny Cide. He finished second to Empire Maker in the Wood, and third in the Louisiana Derby to Peace Rules in his two most recent starts.

Funny Cide received a perfect trip from the veteran Santos, who scored a major upset just six months ago with Volponi in the Breeders' Cup Classic. In the Derby, Santos was able to get Funny Cide to settle just behind the early pacesetters, Brancusi and Peace Rules, before moving to the lead near the top of the stretch.

"I was in perfect position," Santos said. "At the three-eighths pole, he felt very strong. Going a mile and quarter, he kept digging and digging."

The race was relatively clean, with the exception of a poor start and traffic for Atswhatimtalknbout, and some bumping near the start and again on the first turn that compromised the chances of the speed horse Indian Express.

As the field neared the far turn, Brancusi began to stop badly, leaving Peace Rules on the lead. But Funny Cide was up to engage him quickly, and he and Peace Rules passed the mile mark in 1:35.75.

Empire Maker got to the flank of Funny Cide near the top of the stretch, but Funny Cide never let him past.

"I was parked a little bit wide on the first turn," said Jerry Bailey, who rode Empire Maker. "When he went to the leaders, he didn't do it with authority."

Bailey said he did not think Empire Maker was compromised by the foot bruise that forced him to miss a day of training at mid-week, and to merely jog another day.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen and David Grening