Cutting Humor Shines in Sunland Derby
Cutting Humor and John Velasquez held off a late charging Anothertwistafate to prevail in Sunday’s Grade 3, $800,000, Sunland Derby in New Mexico.
Mucho Gusto came out of the gate strong and Hustle Up and Anothertwistafate went with him. As they hit the 1/4 mile marker in 22.76, Hustle Up and Mucho Gusto separated themselves from the field by a couple lengths, while Anothertwistafate and Cutting Humor tracked in third and fourth. As they hit the 1/2 mile in 45.63, Mucho Gusto was still on the lead but Hustle Up started to retreat and folded badly on the turn. As they straightened for home, Mucho Gusto drew clear but the early fractions had taken their toll and he retreated on the rail as Cutting Humor went on by. But Anothertwistafate and Juan Hernandez rallied in the middle of the racetrack and were gaining on Cutting Humor but they would come up a neck short.
There were a few anxious moments for the winning jockey. “Once I got to the quarter pole, I thought he was going pretty easy,” Velazquez said. “Then I asked him, and as soon as he found himself on the lead, he started waiting. He idled pretty badly, and I’m thinking, ‘Come on buddy. You’ve got to get your mind back on running.’ “I waited until the eighth pole, switched to left-handed, and he responded.”
Mucho Gusto faded to third, while Wicked Indeed finished fourth, and long shot Eye Cloud ran fifth.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Cutting Humor completed the 1-1/8 mile distance in 1:46.94 and secured a new track record while doing so.
Sired by First Samurai, Cutting Humor was a $400,000 yearling purchase and the victory gave the colt his second win, in six attempts.
With Kentucky Derby points awarded on a 50-20-10-5 basis for this race, Cutting Humor is headed to Churchill Downs in May, should the connections decide to compete in the Kentucky Derby.
Cutting Humor $6.60 3.40 2.40
Anothertwistafate 4.00 3.00
Mucho Gusto 2.20
$1 Exacta $17.00
$1 Triple $33.60
.10-cent Super $9.19
.50-cent Superhighfive $787.15