Invading Humor, a 4-year-old daughter of Invasor (Arg), made a memorable stakes debut in the $125,000 John Hettinger, contesting the pace from the bell and fighting to regain the lead after being headed in upper stretch to secure her fourth consecutive victory. The Hettinger is the filly and mare division of a pair of 1 1/8-mile turf contests for New York-breds co-featured on Belmont’s Sunday card.
Trained by Bruce Levine for Bloodline Racing Partnerships, Invading Humor cleared her second New York-bred allowance condition at Belmont in July going six furlongs on turf. Stretching out progressively in a pair of races three weeks apart in Saratoga, the dark bay filly took a one-mile conditioned state-bred allowance on August 4 and a 1 1/16 mile open allowance on August 23, racing on or near the lead both times.
Partnered with Rajiv Maragh for her stakes debut, 5-1 Invading Humor broke sharply from the outside post and entered the clubhouse turn three wide. She was able to move in one path after the battle for the lead narrowed down to her and 16-1 Princess Mara. The two contested the top spot for the length of the backstretch, tracked in third and fourth by 3-5 favorite Effie Trinket and Mah Jong Maddnes.
Invading Humor edged clear exiting the far turn, but was headed in upper stretch by Effie Trinket and Mah Jong Maddnes who bid in tandem. Invading Humor fought back with determination at the rail, regained the lead and went on to win by one length while holding held off a late run from Broman homebred Strike Accord. The 40-1 longshot came barreling down the center of the track to get up for second over Effie Trinket. Completing the order of finish were Selenite, Dreaming of Cara, Frosty Bay, Stock Fund, Mah Jong Maddnes and Princess Mara. The final time for nine furlongs over the “good” inner turf course was 1:49.47. [VIDEO]
Winning jockey Rajiv Maragh said, “I didn’t ask her until I got to the stretch. I thought I still had horse, but until you let them loose you never know. When I asked her to run, she just sprinted away. I hadn’t ridden her in a while, but I won on her going a mile. This was only a furlong more, and I thought she could handle it. Even through the wire, she kept on going.”
A delighted Bruce Levine said, “She’s really been a little bit of a surprise. She’s overachieved this year. She’s got a big heart and is as game as they come. I was a little nervous when the other two went outside them [Effie Trinket and Mah Jong Maddnes], but she’s a fighter. But when she dug in and they straightened out, I knew she had more.
A winner of six races, with one second and a third from twelve career starts and $303,700-earner, Invading Humor was bred by Dr. James Randall Mcglinn, breeder and General Manager, of Bloodlines Racing Partnerships, which primarily campaigns registered New York- and Pennsylvania-breds.
Foaled at Sickle Pond Farm in Stillwater, Invading Humor is the first foal out of Very Funny, a placed Kentucky-bred daughter of Distorted Humor purchased by Mcglinn at the 2009 Keeneland January sale for $16,000. A New York-bred full sister Distorted Beauty has a win and two seconds from three starts and has earned over $138,000. The mare currently has a yearling filly and weanling filly both by Freud.
Levine plans to bring Invading Humor back in the $150,000 Iroquois on Empire Showcase Day (October 18).