Tom Durant's Awesome Humor rallied wide at the top of the stretch under jockey Calvin Borel and went on to post a two-length victory over Vibs in Saturday's $109,500, grade III Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The 3-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor, making her second career start after breaking her maiden at Keeneland on April 11, ran the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.45.The winner, trained by Ronny Werner, paid $17.20, $9.00 and $5.80. Vibs, who took the lead at the top of the stretch but could not hold on, paid $6.80 and $4.40. Attemptress finished two lengths back in third and paid $4.40. Blues In Seattle, the 3-2 favorite, tired after setting the pace and finished fourth.With the winner's purse of $67,890, Awesome Humor increase her lifetime earnings to $99,115.
D'Nile and Blues In Seattle battled for the early lead through fractions of :22.24 for the quarter and :45.25 for the half mile. Awesome Humor, who settled back in fifth, commenced her rally five-wide on the turn while Vibs took control. Vibs drew out to a 1 ½-length advantage but could not withstand the rally by Awesome Humor.
"I could have cut the corner at the top of the stretch, but I knew this filly had so much," said Borel, who registered his second stakes win of the meet. "I was told to lay off the pace and just let the race set up. I wasn't going to set myself down there on the inside and ask for trouble. There was no need when you have a ton of horse under you."
"I loved the post position we had," said Werner. "I told Calvin we were in great position and to just sit off of them. I know it was a long time in between races, but this was a race that we decided to go after. I've told people for some time that this filly just makes my job easy."Bred in Kentucky by Dr. Naveed Chowhan, Awesome Humor was purchased for $45,000 from last year's Fasig Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale.(Chart, Equibase)