Anothertwistafate Rallies for Second
By Dick Downey
Todd Pletcher added a second solid prospect to his potential Kentucky Derby lineup this weekend in the form of Cutting Humor, who set a track record winning the Sunland Derby.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Cutting Humor stalked the early pace in fifth through the first turn. Going up the backstretch he sat fourth behind 4-5 favorite Mucho Gusto and Joe Talamo, Hustle Up and Anothertwistafate, ridden by Juan Hernandez, with a half-mile timed in a blazing 45.63. Heading into the second turn, Cutting Humor laid third with six furlongs in the books in 1:09.63, a good time for a sprint going that distance, with Mucho Gusto leading a closely pursuing Hustle Up in second and Anothertwistafate only 1 1/2 length back in fourth.
Leaving the far turn, Mucho Gusto was in a narrowing command, and Cutting Humor was soon on even terms with him as Hustle Up backed away. Cutting Humor led Mucho Gusto by a half-length with one furlong remaining, and Anothertwistafate had moved to third, albeit still a length-and-a-half back. At that point, Cutting Humor started idling, according to Velazquez, and Anothertwistafate made a belated charge only to come up a neck short. Mucho Gusto faded to finish third, beaten six lengths, and Wicked Indeed rounded out the superfecta, another 1 1/2 length back.
#5, Cutting Humor gets the victory over #2. Anothertwistafate in the Sunland Park Derby @SPRRacino! Congrats to winning connections Trainer Todd Pletcher, Owners @StarlightRacing and Jockey @ljlmvel!— TVG (@TVG) March 24, 2019
Today's preps on the Road to the Derby presented by @SpendthriftFarm. pic.twitter.com/d1aVtx2QS8
Following the the top four across the finish line were Eye Cloud at 154-1, Pasamonte Man, Hustle Up, Collusionist and Walker Stalker.
Cutting Humor covered the 1 1/8-mile Sunland Derby in an eye-catching 1:46.94, eclipsing the former track record of 1:47.21 set by Oh So Regal on April 15, 2018.
Yesterday, Pletcher sent out Spinoff, who collected 40 Kentucky Derby points when finishing second in the Louisiana Derby. Ordinarily that's enough points to make the starting gate in Louisville, so he's in if all goes well.
Cutting Humor got the winner's share of 50 Derby points in the $800,000 Sunland Derby. Anothertwistafate, who already had 10 points from winning the El Camino Real Derby, got 20 more to run his total to 30. Mucho Gusto was awarded 10 points for finishing third and now has 24. Wicked Indeed has six points after receiving five for his fourth-place finish.
Cutting Humor was sent off as the 2-1 second choice and paid $6.60 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.40 to show.
Starlight Racing, no stranger to Kentucky Derby doings, is the winning owner. Frankie Brothers picked out Cutting Humor at the sale.
For more about Cutting Humor, his race record, pedigree, sale info and connections, click here.
John Velazquez: "He got to the lead and then he started waiting. He seems like (he could go forward). He's a big horse, so two turns helps him a lot."