10/24/2015 6:16PM

Invading Humor leads one-two finish for siblings in Ticonderoga


ELMONT, N.Y. -  No joke, there was a sister exacta in the $200,000 Ticonderoga Stakes in a wild ending to Saturday’s Empire Showcase Day card at Belmont Park.

Invading Humor, under Jose Lezcano, led every step of the way to pull the 29-1 upset while her younger sister, Distorted Beauty, overcame trouble to get up for second. There was a dead-heat for third between Neck of the Moon and Swear By It.

Invading Humor, 5, and Distorted Beauty, 4, are both by the champion Invasor out of the Distorted Humor mare Very Funny. They are owned and bred by Randy McGlinn’s Bloodlines Racing Partnerships and trained by Bruce Levine.

Only a half-hour earlier, Levine had finished seventh in the $250,000 Empire Distaff with 3-2 favorite Hot Stones.

“You get beat with the favorite, then you run one-two,” Levine said. “You go from one extreme to the other; that’s the way the game is, peaks and valleys - a lot more valleys than peaks.”

Purposely, McGlinn and Levine kept the two fillies apart as long as possible. But with limited opportunities, and with time running out on the turf season, it was decided to run both in the Ticonderoga - the first time the two ran against each other - a race Invading Humor had finished eighth in last year.

“I felt really good going into the race,” McGlinn said. “Even though Discreet Marq was the favorite, both horses were training well, running well. We had firm turf today, which is a real plus. I was really hopeful. I was hoping, of course, for a dead heat.”

Discreet Marq, last year’s Ticonderoga winner, was the even-money favorite on reputation. But she was fifth in the Yaddo at 3-5 and she couldn’t make the lead Saturday despite a modest opening quarter of 23.83 seconds. Discreet Marq finished 11th in what most likely will be the final start of her career.

Invading Humor, under Lezcano, made the lead and she ran a half-mile in 47.42 seconds, six furlongs in 1:10.74, and a mile in 1:34.01 Though she drifted out somewhat in the stretch, she was never seriously challenged and covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.09.

Invading Humor returned $60.50 to win and topped a $358.50 sister exacta.

Distorted Beauty encountered some trouble in the stretch as jockey Jose Ortiz was forced to steady when Old Harbor veered in at the eighth pole. Distorted Beauty bumped with Graceful Gal, but recovered to get second by a head over Neck of the Moon and Swear by It.

McGlinn said both Invading Humor and Distorted Beauty would race again in 2016.

McGlinn said there are no other full siblings but there is a yearling half-sister by Freud and a weanling colt, also by Freud.