Fresh on the heels of adding grade I winner Any Given Saturday to its growing list of stars, Sheikh Mohammed's Darley has purchased a number of shares in Any Given Saturday's sire, Distorted Humor . Darley has also purchased grade II-winning sprinter Diabolical from trainer Steve Klesaris and Jeff Puglisi
A 14-year-old syndicated son of Forty Niner, Distorted Humor stands at Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky.
"Darley's involvement will further enhance Distorted Humor's legacy as a great sire," said Doug Cauthen, WinStar president.
Distorted Humor, who sired the earners of $6.7 million last year, is on his way to an even bigger year. He is represented by the earners of $6.4 million and 19 stakes winners, just one fewer than for all of last year. His 2007 fee was $225,000.
"He's a horse we're excited about," said Darley chief operating officer Dan Pride. "He's a stallion we've been supporting by buying his yearlings and breeding our mares to him."
Any Given Saturday, who was bred by Racehorse Management, a WinStar division, races for WinStar in partnership with Satish and Anne Sanan's Padua Stables. The 3-year-old colt is being aimed for the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), after which Darley will take ownership.
When asked whether the purchase of the breeding rights in Distorted Humor was tied into the deal to secure Any Given Saturday, Pride said, "It was purely coincidental."
Distorted Humor, out of the Danzig mare Danzig's Beauty, has sired 59 stakes winners, including 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and champion Funny Cide and additional 2007 grade I winner Hystericalady.
Distorted Humor will continue to stand at WinStar.
Darley's other recent purchase of grade II-winning sprinter Diabolical from trainer Steve Klesaris and Jeff Puglisi also was made with a wide look to the future. Darley does not plan to run Diabolical in the Oct. 27 TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and instead will point the 4-year-old son of Artax toward major racing events in Dubai the first part of next year.
Selling Diabolical was a difficult choice for Klesaris, who has never sent a horse out in a Breeders' Cup event. "It was tough decision, but a business decision," said the trainer, who declined to reveal the sales price. "He was a tremendous colt, and it's going to be hard to fill his shoes. He gave us some great thrills."
Diabolical's sale took place with the colt at the top of his game. He won the July 28 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) at six furlongs in 1:08.67 at Saratoga in his last start and took the Emirates Airline Maryland Sprint Handicap (gr. III) in 1:09.16 at Pimlico in his previous start.
Bred in Kentucky by Longleaf Pine Farm, Diabolical has won eight of 19 races and earned $750,900. In his two other races this year, he ran second in the Carter Handicap (gr. I) and third in the Richter Scale Sprint Championship Handicap (gr. II).