Twisted Wit has Last Laugh in Vandal Stakes

(from Woodbine report)
Rolph Davis' Twisted Wit, a 2-year-old son of Distorted Humor, kept his record unblemished as he fashioned a late stretch charge to take the featured $163,350 Vandal Stakes, Sunday at Woodbine.

Ridden by David Clark, Twisted Wit looked like he was going to be no better than second turning for home as the odds-on choice Stormthebarricade, with Emile Ramsammy up, opened four lengths on his rivals in the six-furlong event for Canadian-foaled 2-year-olds.

However, approaching the sixteenth pole, the chestnut gelding came flying to the leader and blew right by to win by a comfortable 2 3/4 lengths, in 1:13.37. Executive Willie, a 58-1 outsider, finished 4 1/4 lengths further back in third.

According to Woodbine's leading trainer Robert Tiller, Twisted Wit was fortunate to even be racing today.

"We gate-schooled him on Thursday morning. Unfortunately he got hung up in the gate and he was under the gate for 20 minutes," explained Tiller. "The gate crew did a helluva job to stop him from hurting himself real badly. I didn't think we could enter him (in the Vandal), but the vet checked him out. He said there's just small cuts and a bit of a bruise on his head.

"We put him in (the race) but we still weren't sure until this morning if he was even going to run. We've gone through 48 hours of blackout with him. He's going to need a lot more schooling in the paddock and in the gate. Without this great gate crew here, this horse would not have made it today."

"My horse likes to run at horses," said Clark. "Emile's horse was still running at the time, but I thought if my horse really punched home, he could (catch him). At the eighth pole, Stormthebarricade started to slow down and my horse just continued on. He's a little green, still learning the game. I really believe he'll go better the further he goes."

As the 9-2 second choice, Twisted Wit earned $98,010 for the win, and along with the $36,360 he picked up for his maiden win July 27, has now banked $134,370, more than covering his $32,201 (US) purchase price at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Yearling sale last September.

"He (Stormthebarricade) looked like he was gone, but I knew this colt could come home strong," said Tiller. "He's just got to get over his antics."

Twisted Wit returned $11.30, $3.60 and $3.10, combining with Stormthebarricade ($2.40, $2.10) for a $27.40 exacta. A Executive Willie ($7.10) completed a $318.30 trifecta.

(Chart, Equibase)