Awesome Humor, right, defeats Forever Partners in the Spinaway.

Awesome Humor, right, defeats Forever Partners in the Spinaway.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Awesome Humor Takes Spinaway

(From track report)
WinStar Farm's Awesome Humor kept her record perfect and her place among the leaders of the 2-year-old filly division intact Friday afternoon, holding off favored Forever Partners to win the 111th running of the $200,000 Spinaway (gr. I) by 2-3/4 lengths.

It was the first grade I victory of Awesome Humor's four-race career. With Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day aboard, she completed the seven furlongs over good going in 1:24 1/5 to take Saratoga's biggest race for juvenile fillies.

"I was a bit concerned about her being in the 1-hole, but Pat (Day) looked comfortable on her, and having ridden Pat quite a bit, I know when he has horse and when he doesn't," said winning trainer W. Elliott Walden.

"The track got to wearing on her a little bit late, like it did to all of them today," said Walden, who also trained the filly's sire, Distorted Humor. "But the track is in real good shape considering how much rain there was."

Awesome Again had to dig in early after falling behind a bit from the rail after the start. She pressed by several in the 12-horse field and grabbed the lead early through a pace of :22, :45 and 1:10 3/5. But she was able to respond when Day asked her to in the final furlong, and she easily shook off the late advance of Forever Partners.

"She broke very alert, she was on or close to the lead all the way," Day said. "They got by her a little bit off the turn, but I hadn't called on her and she was still comfortable. She was comfortable all the way. I felt that when I called on her, she was going to give some punch. I thought it was going to be good enough to get the job done. (Forever Partners) made a real race of it down inside the eighth-pole, but come the sixteenth-pole, my filly started to draw away from her. It was a game effort from a very nice filly."

Awesome Humor, who returned $8.40, will likely head back to Kentucky and await the 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland on October 4 as a prep for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the $1 million Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/8 miles at Arlington Park on October 26.

"I'm getting to the point now where I'm getting offspring of horses I trained, and it's nice to get Distorted Humor off to a good start," Walden said. "She is a professional filly and a joy to train."

The loss was the first in three starts for Forever Partners, the favorite of the crowd of 17,209.

"We were second-best," said trainer Anthony Dutrow. "We were beaten by a good filly. I don't know what I will do with her next. Maybe the Matron (gr. I, Belmont Park, Sept. 15th) is a possibility, but I really don't know."

A length back in third was Midnight Cry, who at 32-1, turned in a strong effort in only her second career start.

"No doubt, she's got a world of class," said trainer Ken McPeek. "By my math, we've got two more furlongs to go about 60 days from now."

With her Spinaway score, Awesome Humor raised her earnings past the $300,000 mark.

(Chart, Equibase)