Funny Duck, one of the least-accomplished horses in a stacked version of the GIII Pat Day Mile S. making just his second dirt start, rode the rail and splashed away in deep stretch to a colossal Derby Day upset.
Debuting on the local dirt last Sept. 17, the $110,000 OBS March buy took money but was a no-factor seventh. He took four more tries to break his maiden over grass Feb. 11 at Gulfstream and was seventh in the GIII Transylvania S. last out Apr. 6 at Keeneland. Dismissed at just under 40-1 in this return to the main, the chestnut was bumped a bit at the start before settling third-last behind a sharp quarter of :22.31. Making steady progress at the fence down the backstretch, he drew within five of the front passing a :45.53 half. Biding his time on the turn, he looked loaded for bear at the top of the lane, only needing a place to go under Brian Hernandez, Jr. The pair found that seam three-sixteenths from the judges and swept up alongside fellow longshot New York Central right as they hit the furlong pole. From there, Funny Duck turned the race into a laugher, splashing well clear to light up the toteboard. New York Central held on for second over another big price in Givemeaminit.
“Mr. [Brad] Kelley [of Calumet] called and said, ‘I would like to try this horse on the dirt again,'” winning trainer Rusty Arnold explained. “We were set for running him in a turf race and he said, ‘No I’d like to try him on the dirt again,’ and we said OK, and we tried him on the dirt again. So he gets all the credit because we would have been in the turf race. We love the horse. He had really become leaps and bounds better through the winter.”
Funny Duck is the 143rd stakes winner and 61st graded stakes winner for sire Distorted Humor. He is a full-brother to GSW turfer Slow Pace, while his dam was a SW on turf. Bred by the Wertheimers, she sold for $87,000 as a Keeneland November broodmare in 2009 before reselling with the winner in utero for $190,000 at the same sale in 2014. She is a half-sister to MGSW/GISP Olmodavor (A.P. Indy), while second dam Corrazona, a GISW on the lawn, is a half to 1990 GI Wood Memorial winner Thirty Six Red (Slew o’ Gold). Funny Duck is the most recent foal out of Slow Down, who was bred to Daredevil last term.
Saturday, Churchill Downs
PAT DAY MILE S. PRESENTED BY LG AND E AND KU-GIII, $300,000, CD, 5-5, 3yo, 1m, 1:37.16, sy.
1–FUNNY DUCK, 118, c, 3, by Distorted Humor
1st Dam: Slow Down (SW, $120,162), by Seattle Slew
2nd Dam: Corrazona, by El Gran Senor
3rd Dam: Heartbreak, by Stage Door Johnny
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN. ($120,000
RNA Wlg ’15 KEENOV; $65,000 RNA Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $110,000
2yo ’17 OBSMAR). O-Calumet Farm; B-SF Bloodstock LLC (KY);
T-George R. Arnold, II; J-Brian Joseph Hernandez, J.. $169,260.
Lifetime Record: 7-2-2-0, $214,040. *Full to Slow Pace,
GSW-Fr, SW & MGSP-Aus, $546,586; 1/2 to Segway (Giant’s
Causeway), MGSP, $190,060. Werk Nick Rating: A.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–New York Central, 118, c, 3, Tapit–Fashion Cat, by Forest
Wildcat. ($390,000 Wlg ’15 KEENOV; $750,000 Ylg ’16
FTSAUG). O-WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International
Ltd. & SF Racing LLC; B-SF Bloodstock LLC (KY); T-Steven M.
Asmussen. $54,600.3–Givemeaminit, 118, c, 3, Star Guitar–Powerful Nation, by
Turkoman. ($20,000 RNA Ylg ’16 ESLYRL). O-Valene Farms LLC;
B-Clear Creek Stud LLC (LA); T-Dallas Stewart. $27,300.
Margins: 4 3/4, 1, 2 1/4. Odds: 39.70, 31.50, 21.80.
Also Ran: Sporting Chance, Shane Zain, Lombo, Seahenge, Mask, Mississippi, Madison’s Luna, Smart Remark, Restoring Hope, Greyvitos, National Flag. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.