Sunday, May 4, 2003

A win for owners, and their home state


Sure to be talk of the town in Saratoga, N.Y.

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

PHOTO GALLERY

Photos of Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE - Sackatoga Stable managing partner Jackson Knowlton lives in Saratoga, N.Y. He and his four high school buddies, who threw in $5,000 apiece to open the stable, went to high school in Sacketts Harbor, N.Y.

When they crossed Saratoga with Sacketts, they got Sackatoga. When they bought Funny Cide for $75,000, they got a Kentucky Derby winner. Today, Funny Cide's ownership is split among 10 people, nine of whom were present Saturday at Churchill Downs to see the 3-year-old become the first New York-bred Derby winner in the 129-year history of the race. Knowlton, Gus D'Agostino, David Mahan and Lou Titterton own equal of shares of the horse. The other two are split.

Knowlton did the speaking for the owners Saturday, which was his second trip to Churchill Downs.

"I was here in 1989 and saw Sunday Silence (defeat Easy Goer)," said Knowlton, who owns Empire Health Advisors, a health-care consulting firm. "It's a little different experience this time."

It probably will be a little different for Knowlton and his family when they go back to Saratoga. He joked that they might make the front page of the local newspaper. There will be plenty to talk about at Saratoga Soles, the shoe store that Knowlton's wife, Dorothy, operates.

"I'm just happy for my hometown ... and New York racing," Knowlton said. "It won't sink in for quite a while."

Of course, barring any injuries, Funny Cide now will run in the Preakness, the second stage of the Triple Crown, horse racing's pinnacle achievement. No horse has won all three stages - the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes - since Affirmed in 1978.

Funny Cide has a chance.

"Little did we ever know," Knowlton said.

Now, everyone knows.

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E-mail ddow@enquirer.com




FLYING PIG MARATHON
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REDS SATURDAY GAME
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PLAN YOUR DAY
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