Distorted Humor (left) and Congrats
The upcoming breeding season marks a departure from WinStar Farm’s stallion ranks for long-standing cornerstones Distorted Humor and Congrats as both are being retired from stud duty, the farm announced today.
Distorted Humor, a Champion Freshman Sire and a Champion General Sire, served an instrumental role in helping WinStar scale new heights as a breeding operation, and the esteemed stallion has sired a plethora of big-name horses in a spectacular career at stud. Numbered among his top runners are Drosselmeyer-G1, Funny Cide-G1, Commentator-G1, Any Given Saturday-G1, Flower Alley-G1, Hystericalady-G1, Boisterous-G1, Awesome Humor-G1, Restless Rider-G1, and so many others.
“We all owe Distorted Humor a debt of gratitude for all he has done for WinStar Farm, my family, and the many breeders who supported him from his humble beginnings,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar’s president, CEO, and racing manager. “He will be missed in the breeding shed this year, but we are so grateful that we can continue to see him at WinStar for the foreseeable future. What a horse!”
Over the last decade, Distorted Humor has also emerged as one of the leading and most influential broodmare sires in recent memory, being represented by such horses as racing’s all-time leading earner Arrogate ($17,422,600), Elate, Practical Joke, New Money Honey, and Constitution. This year, he is represented as a broodmare sire by Woodward Stakes (G1) winner Art Collector, a leading candidate for next month’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
Distorted Humor entered stud in 1999 and has provided many seminal moments during his remarkable and lengthy career as a stallion. He topped all freshman sires in 2002 and he was North America’s leading General Sire in 2011, the same year, his son and leading earner, Drosselmeyer ($3,728.170) captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Drosselmeyer was also a Classic winner, having won the 2010 Belmont Stakes (G1). In 2003, Distorted Humor’s Funny Cide, bred by WinStar and campaigned by Sackatoga Stable, won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Preakness Stakes (G1) on his way to a career bankroll of $3,529,412.
A son of champion Forty Niner out of Danzig’s Beauty, by Danzig, Distorted Humor is the sire of 163 black-type winners and 71 graded stakes winners with more than $152 million in total progeny earnings.
While he has made an indelible imprint on the breed as a stallion, Distorted Humor, bred in Kentucky by Charles Nuckols Jr. and Sons, was also an accomplished racehorse. Trained by Elliott Walden and owned by R.L. Renieman and Prestonwood Farms, Distorted Humor won the 1998 Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, where he set a stakes record that still stands, getting the seven furlongs in 1:20.50. He also annexed the Churchill Downs Handicap (G2); the Ack Ack Handicap (G3), and the Salvator Mile Handicap (G3) en route to earnings of $769,964.
Congrats, a Top 10 sire by winners for the last six years (Top 5 in three of those years) has been a perennial producer of top-class runners during his remarkably consistent career at stud and is once again among the leading sires of winners in 2021.
This year Congrats is represented by 122 winners and boasts progeny earnings of $4,843,399. His top runner this season is two-time Graded stakes winner Last Judgment, winner of the Pimlico Special Match Series Stakes (G3) at Pimlico and the Challenger Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.
The only Champion Freshman Sire by the legendary sire of sires, A.P. Indy, Congrats is the sire of such Grade 1 horses as Turbulent Descent, Haveyougoneaway, Wickedly Perfect, and Emma’s Encore. Congrats has total progeny earnings of $71,982,417 and is the sire of 44 black-type winners. He is being retired to John Sykes’ Woodford Thoroughbreds in Reddick, Fla.
“Congrats helped me get started in this business and has meant so much to Woodford Thoroughbreds,” said John Sykes. “We are happy to be bringing him home for his retirement.”