Distorted Humor, the nation's leading sire of stakes winners, sired his 12th stakes winner on June 9th, and has excellent chances to add at least three more Graded winners to his 2011 totals at Belmont this Friday and Saturday.
Distorted Humor's 12th stakes winner and fourth Group/Graded winner of the season is Radharcnafarraige (Ire), gritty victress of the Ballyogan S. (G3) at Leopardstown, Ireland. Carrying top weight of 127 lbs., the three-year-old struck the front with a furlong to go, and won the 6-furlong event under a virtual hand ride. Winner of the Coolmore Stud Fillies S. (G3) last year at two, she has now won 3 of her 9 career starts for breeder/trainer Jim Bolger and owner Ms. Grainne Seige.
At Belmont this Friday and Saturday, Distorted Humor has live runners in both the Acorn (G1) and Just A Game S. (G1), as well as last year's Belmont S. (G1) winner Drosselmeyer going in the Brooklyn (G2).
Friday's $150,000 Brooklyn is headlined by Drosselmeyer, who signalled his readiness for this event with May 15 victory in the One Count S. at Belmont. The WinStar color-bearer has already earned $843,170 in 12 starts to date.
Saturday's Acorn contender is Savvy Supreme, who will contest the sixth race over a flat mile for 3-year-old fillies. WinStar Farm owns the bay filly, who is trained by Todd Pletcher.
The Kentucky-bred is two for three lifetime, with a handy win in the Classy Mirage S. at Belmont on May 18. The Acorn will be her first start beyond 6 1/2-furlongs.
“She seems to have taken a big step forward,” said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to Pletcher. “With the style she used last time, going a mile shouldn’t be a problem. We’ve always thought of her as a real quality filly and this is the right spot.”
Savvy Supreme drew post three of six and should be on or near the lead for the one-turn main track event. She was a $520,000 Keeneland yearling auction purchase. Out of the Storm Bird mare Outsource, she is a full sister to $2 million earner Commentator, who won four stakes at Belmont and set a track record there for 7 1/2-furlongs.
Distorted Humor's second runner on Saturday is Much Rejoicing, who will go in the $400,000 Just A Game S., the ninth race on the card.
The 4-year-old filly comes off a nice score at Belmont a month ago in the six furlong Glia S. It was the first start on turf for daughter of Soaring Softly, who won the 1999 Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont Park before she concluded her career with a triumph in that year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park.
“Strange as it seems, [the Glia] was the first time we got to run her on the grass, which we had been waiting to do for a while,” said the filly's trainer, Jimmy Toner, who also conditioned Soaring Softly. “Fortunately, she responded to it as we thought she would, so we’re happy about that. We’re jumping in the water here, stepping up off the overnight stakes, but we think she’s capable, and this is a good time to find out.”
Much Rejoicing’s two previous starts in 2011 came in route races, a one-mile, off-the-turf optional claimer at Gulfstream in March and a sixth in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Doubledogdare over Keeneland’s Polytrack on April 22.
“The Just a Game is a mile, and I think we’re comfortable with that,” said Toner.
Much Rejoicing is 4-0-0 in eight starts, with earnings of $123,378. She is owned by AJ Suited Racing Stable. Toner bought the filly for her owners at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale for $385,000.