10/30/2017 1:00PM

Distorted Humor makes mark on Breeders' Cup as broodmare sire

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Barbara D. Livingston
Breeders' Cup Distaff contender Elate was produced by a Distorted Humor mare.

There are a few parallels between Arrogate, the defending winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Elate, a prominent contender in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Both horses were later-developing horses who required patient handling from their Hall of Fame trainers. Arrogate posted his first Grade 1 victory in scintillating fashion in the Travers Stakes in August of his 3-year-old season at Saratoga. Elate broke through at a similar point of the season, romping to her first Grade 1 win in the Alabama Stakes at the historic track.

Both runners are out of daughters of Distorted Humor, who has emerged as a force in the broodmare sire ranks, not only in North America but worldwide. Thanks to champion Arrogate’s bankroll as North America’s leading earner, the WinStar Farm stallion currently leads the broodmare sire list, outpacing the late Sunday Silence, who has the majority of his runners in Japan, where purses are inflated. Distorted Humor is also poised for a massive Breeders’ Cup weekend to further pad his status.

Elate, by Medaglia d’Oro and out of stakes winner Cheery, was a 12 1/2-length debut winner last November, but trainer Bill Mott handled the eye-catching filly with patience through a spring that included some fits and starts. Elate won a minor stakes at Delaware Park in June and was a close second in the Coaching Club American Oaks before bursting to a 5 1/2-length Alabama victory, followed by an 8 1/4-length romp over older mares in the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes.

“We gave her a little bit of time after she broke her maiden, and we started cranking her up and getting her ready for the races, and it was just kind of like she really hadn’t come alive yet,” Mott said. “She was doing fine; her works were good without being spectacular, and you could tell she was probably a filly that was going through a little bit of a growing stage, a development stage. We said then that she probably wouldn’t be on her game for the Kentucky Oaks, that she was more of an Alabama filly, and that’s exactly how it worked out.”

Distorted Humor has another developing 3-year-old out of one of his daughters in Takaful. The Bernardini colt was unplaced in a pair of Kentucky Derby preps this year before being given a freshening and cutting back to sprint distances. Takaful scored his first Grade 1 victory while facing older horses in the Vosburgh Stakes, catapulting himself into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

“[Owner Shadwell Stable has] been patient,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “We tried to go the Derby route, and it didn’t work, and they let us just get him right.”

Distorted Humor’s other pre-entrants were multiple Grade 1 winner Practical Joke in the Dirt Mile, Bahamian in the Juvenile, and Gato Del Oro in the Dirt Mile.

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