03/04/2006 12:00AM

Sharp Humor upsets Noonmark

Longshot Sharp Humor, ridden by Mark Guidry, wins the Swale, paying $29.60.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Sharp Humor is likely to be voted New York-bred champion 2-year-old of 2005 when those awards are announced next month. But it is unlikely he'll be meeting New York-breds again anytime soon.

Sharp Humor may have put himself on the Triple Crown trail Saturday after pulling off a neck upset of 7-5 favorite Noonmark to win the Grade 2, $150,000 at Gulfstream Park. Noonmark, who put a head in front of Sharp Humor in midstretch, finished second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Court Folly. In Summation finished fourth.

It was the fourth victory in six starts for Sharp Humor, a son of Distorted Humor owned by Ed Edelberg and Chris and Patricia Purdy, who race the under name Purdedel Stable. It was by far his biggest win after taking a pair of restricted stakes last year at Belmont Park.

Trainer Dale Romans was trying to get Sharp Humor ready for last month's Hutcheson Stakes, but he didn't think the horse was fit enough. Entering the Swale, Romans felt "he was fit enough if good enough."

He was plenty good.

Under Mark Guidry, Sharp Humor broke on top and made the early lead. Praying for Cash took over the lead, but Sharp Humor stayed just to his outside through fractions of 22.03 seconds and 44.58. Sharp Humor took a slight advantage at the quarter pole, and Guidry got busy on him turning for home.

Noonmark, who was boxed in along the inside down the backstretch under Shaun Bridgmohan, got running room turning for home. It appeared as though he was going to blow past Sharp Humor, who battled back along the rail for the win.

"He went in front of me a step or two and my horse fought back real hard," Guidry said. "Dale did an extremely great job with him. He knows this horse and he told me how to ride him to a T. The game plan went perfect and we just got lucky and were able to get it the last few yards.''

Sharp Humor covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.14 and returned $29.60 to win.

"I told Mark [in] the first sixteenth put him on the lead and see where you were sitting," Romans said. "On the outside he had a lot of decisions to make; he was quick enough to go to the lead. He fought hard to come back and win by a [neck]."

Romans said he had not thought much past this race, but said Keeneland races such as the Blue Grass on April 15 or the Lexington Stakes on April 22 were possibilities for Sharp Humor's next start.