Funny Cide Co-owner Dies

Dave Mahan, a member of the group who owned 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, has died. He was 61.

Mahan, a Watertown caterer and a principal of Sackatoga Stable, died Wednesday in a Waterbury hospital, said Jack Knowlton, Sackatoga's managing partner.

The Republican-American of Waterbury reported on its Web site Wednesday that Mahan suffered from a brain tumor and had been hospitalized since Dec. 26.

"He loved the thought of being involved in a sport that was involved with glorious animals," Knowlton said. "It was his passion."

Mahan owned a 20 percent interest in Funny Cide, who became the first New York-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby -- and the first gelding since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.

Mahan was one of a group of horse racing novices that included retirees, teachers, an optician and a health care consultant who invested in Sackatoga Stable in 1995.

The group paid $17,500 for its first horse and won about $100,000. In 1999, the group hired trainer Barclay Tagg, who had never reached the Derby, and Tagg found Funny Cide for the bargain price of $75,000.

Funny Cide captured the Preakness by nearly 10 lengths and finished third in the Belmont Stakes.

Mahan and his partners became known at Churchill Downs for arriving in a large yellow school bus while other stable owners were driving luxury cars.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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