Sharp Humor breezed a mile at Churchill Downs Thursday.

Sharp Humor breezed a mile at Churchill Downs Thursday.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Sharp Humor Works Mile for Romans

Purdedel Stable's Sharp Humor, winner of the Swale (gr. II) and runner-up to unbeaten Barbaro in the Florida Derby (gr. I) breezed one mile at Churchill Downs April 20 in preparation for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 6.

The New York-bred son of Distorted Humor  received an official clocking of 1:38 as he covered the distance over a "fast" track under jockey Mark Guidry, who will ride the colt in the Derby. Trainer Dale Romans recorded a slower time of 1:40.20 on his watch, but was happy with the training move by the colt that will be the Louisville native's first Kentucky Derby starter.

"I think he's going to run well," said Romans, who has won seven training titles at Churchill Downs. "The way he worked today couldn't have been any better."

"We were just basically getting some air in him," said Guidry. "It was a while since his last race, so 'Big Dale' wanted to work him a mile and get some air underneath him, and then come back with a little five-eighths next week and sharpen him up a little bit."

"I saw what I wanted to see: a nice even work, picking it up on the end finishing," said Romans. "We wanted to go in about 1:40 and he went in 1:40-and-one, so it couldn't have been any better."

Romans believes Sharp Humor will improve significantly from the Florida Derby, which was his first race at a two-turn distance. And, although his colt is a speed horse in a field that appears to be loaded with frontrunners, he believes Sharp Humor has a legitimate chance to win the big race.

"He's so smart and he's so laid-back," said Romans. "He has tactical speed, he'll put himself in the race. And I think that he'll prove he has the stamina, the way that he ran the other day [in the Florida Derby] for the first time around two turns. If he's good enough, then I think he could win it."

The trainer's biggest career win to this point was the victory by Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May in last year's Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), but Romans - the son of the late Churchill Downs trainer Jerry Romans - believes that a Kentucky Derby win would be much more special.

"It was a big deal to win the Dubai World Cup, but I think this would be much bigger for us," he said. "The money's not quite the same, but to win the Kentucky Derby is everybody's goal in horse racing - especially if you're from here in Louisville."

On hand to watch the work was co-owner Chris Purdy, an Ithaca, N.Y. dentist who, with his wife Patricia, is the "Purd" in Purdedel Stable. Edwin and Mara Edelberg of Chicago are the other part of the stable. Edwin Edelberg is real estate developer. Sharp Humor is the first Kentucky Derby horse for both couples.

Purdy said the stable name is pronounced "pur-DED-el."

Sharp Humor has a record of 4-1-1 in seven races with earnings of $456,410.