04/27/2006 11:00PM

Sharp Humor breeders score big


With an abiding belief in good female families, Dr. Chris and Patricia Purdy undertook the breeding of Sharp Humor, the New York-bred who is scheduled to start in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.

Sharp Humor, winner of the Grade 2 Swale Stakes earlier this year, finished second to the undefeated Barbaro last out in the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

He is owned by Purdedel Stable, the partnership of the Purdys, and Chicago real estate developer Ed Edelberg.

Sharp Humor is a son of Distorted Humor out of Bellona, by Hansel.

The Purdys acquired Bellona through their friend Hooper Roff, who purchased the unraced mare for $4,000 at the 1997 Keeneland January sale.

"She was a cull from Gainsborough Farm and they had been breeding her mother to some decent horses, so we thought she might have some horsepower behind her," said Chris Purdy. "Good female families are money in the bank at some point."

The Purdys sent Bellona to Distorted Humor at WinStar Farm in 2002, when his stud fee was $10,000 and his first runners were about to hit the track.

His New York-bred son Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby in 2003, and today Distorted Humor, a son of Forty Niner, commands a fee of $150,000, making him one of North America's leading sires.

Bellona is a daughter of Basoof, a half-sister to English champion and classic winner Shadeed.

Chris Purdy said he was interested in Basoof's dam, Continual, whose mother Continuation is a half-sister to File, the dam of the Mr. Prospector stallion Forty Niner.

"I wanted to breed back to that line, and I also wanted to try going to Mr. Prospector," he said. "I know people talk about Mr. Prospector's knees and everything, but Distorted Humor is real correct."

Sharp Humor approaches the Kentucky Derby with earnings of $456,410, and a record of 5-0-1 in 7 starts.

The Purdys board Bellona at their Ivy League Farm in Ithaca, N.Y.

They are also the breeders of Carson Hollow, the New York champion 3-year-old filly in 2002, the year she won the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes and placed in the Grade 1 Test Stakes.

"We got lucky," said Purdy. "Distorted Humor turned out to be a great sire. We are truly a small New York farm. So if we can do this, anybody can indeed breed a good horse."

Sharp Humor was honored as state champion juvenile for 2005 at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders annual banquet on April 24.

Million-dollar New York-bred tops sale

A New York-bred son of Fusaichi Pegasus was the sale-topper at the Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale on April 18.

Bred by Chester Broman, he was purchased by trainer Patrick Biancone on behalf of a syndicate for $1,050,000 from the consignment of Sequel Bloodstock, agent.

The colt is out of stakes winner Indy Glory, who is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Stephen Got Even from the family of champion and Grade 1 winner Lord Avie.

A New York-bred son of Tale of the Cat brought the third-highest price at Keeneland, purchased for $750,000 by Stockplace from the consignment of Maurice W. Miller, agent.

Bred by Sugar Maple Farm, the $750,000 buy is out of Mrs. Filio, a half-sister to stakes-placed runners It's Chemistry and Saratoga Madame.

Third dam Mrs. Warren won the Matron and Spinaway, both Grade 1 events, and placed in several other Grade 1 races during her career.

This juvenile attracted attention at the presale workout of April 10, when he worked a furlong in 10.20 seconds on the main track at Keeneland.

Sequel Bloodstock was also the consignor of a New York-bred filly named Moment in Time, who was purchased for $380,000 at the sale by Katsumi Yoshida.

By Forest Camp, she is out of the Summer Squall mare Yesterdays Gone, a granddaughter of Coaching Club American Oaks winner Missile Belle.

Drawing a final bid of $250,000 from Dogwood Stable was a New York-bred son of Royal Academy consigned by Gabriel Dixon, agent. The colt, who worked swiftly prior to the sale, was bred by Berkshire Stud.

He is out of Sea Puffin, a daughter of Mr. Livermore who is a half-sister to Merion Miss, the dam of Private Emblem, winner of the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby, and of multiple stakes winner Rhum.

Private Emblem and Rhum are both New York-breds.

Seven New York-breds grossed a total $2,920,000 at Keeneland, for an average of $417,143, nearly double the overall sale average of $211,954.