Distorted Humor's Machen got up in the final strides to edge Dominus by a neck to win the $231,400 Derby Trial (G3) for 3-year-olds on April 30th, opening night of the Churchill Downs spring/summer meet.
The Derby Trial, run at one mile, starts at the far end of the long Churchill Downs backstretch chute. Machen came away eighth of nine and was still sixth with just a furlong to run, primarily because of being checked and having to go extremely wide coming into the stretch. Despite the setbacks, the chestnut colt closed with a rush for Edgar Prado to take the lead just before the wire. The final time was 1:35.47.
“He’s been a nice colt,” said winning trainer Neil Howard. “The first quarter I was wondering if they were going fast enough. Then they picked it up a little bit. He looked smooth going into the turn. He was picking up his horse nice. Then he came hard at the end down the lane.”
Howard also commented on plans for his latest stakes winner. “Something long-term like the King’s Bishop (G1, at Saratoga this summer), nice one-turn races like that. That’s a way off.”
A Courtlandt Farm homebred out of the More Than Ready mare Ready’s Gal, herself a multiple graded stakes winner of more than $600,000, Machen posted his first stakes victory. His overall record now stands at 3-0-0 in five starts, with earnings of $216,530. This was his first start outside of Fair Ground Race Course, where he broke his maiden and won an allowance race in January.
Distorted Humor is once again a top 10 North American sire, currently standing in seventh place on the progreny earnings rankings list.