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Buddy's Humor gets the last laugh in Pan American

The dynamics of Saturday's $147,000 Pan American S. changed when the turf marathon was transferred to Gulfstream Park's main track and shortened to 1 1/4 miles, and the rerouting ultimately worked to the advantage of Eli Lomita's BUDDY'S HUMOR (Distorted Humor). Wearing down the pacesetting Presious Passion (Royal Anthem) and keeping him at bay through a sustained stretch drive, the Bruce Levine charge stopped the teletimer in 2:02 3/5 on the sloppy, sealed track. Because of the change of both surface and distance from the originally scheduled 1 1/2 miles, the Pan American has been downgraded from a Grade 3 to a listed stakes, pending review by the American Graded Stakes Committee.

Despite stumbling leaving the gate, Presious Passion splashed straight to the front and held a daylight lead through fractions of :23 1/5, :47 1/5 and 1:12 1/5. Buddy's Humor tracked in second before making his move on the far turn, drawing to within a half-length of the leader while reaching the mile mark in 1:37. Sligovitz (Sligo Bay [Ire]), the 8-5 favorite, was also forwardly placed in third, but he could not keep up with the top two and floated wide into the stretch.

Although Buddy's Humor put his head in front of Presious Passion and inched a half-length ahead in midstretch, the early leader kept fighting back in an effort to reclaim the advantage. Under a Jose Lezcano drive, Buddy's Humor fended off his stubborn foe to claim the victory by three-quarters of a length. The winner returned $11.60, $5.40 and $3 as the 9-2 fourth choice in the five-horse field.

Presious Passion yielded $3.60 and $2.20 at 2-1. It was another 5 1/2 lengths back to Sligovitz, who paid $2.60 to show. The exotics were worth $46.60 (exacta), $88.40 (trifecta) and $357.80 (6-5-1-3 superfecta) with the 5-1 South Handyman (Arg) (Southern Halo) in fourth. Quasicobra (Wild Rush) trailed home, while Spice Route (GB) (King's Best) and Nergal (Fr) (Simon du Desert) were scratched.

Buddy's Humor was notching his fourth career stakes score, following coups in the Jersey Derby, Elkwood S. and Four Bases S. The four-year-old bay has also placed in a pair of stakes, including a runner-up effort in the Canadian Turf S. (G3) last time out. His record now reads 15-5-4-2, $358,648.

Bred in Kentucky by John C. Oxley, Buddy's Humor was snapped up by his present connections for $435,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. He was produced by the Dehere mare Hello Barbara Sue, who is herself a half-sister to Grade 2 queen Diamond on the Run (Kris S.) as well as stakes winners Tropical Blossom (Thunder Gulch) and Barbette (High Yield). This is also the family of Grade 1 scorers Super May (Super Concorde) and Appealing Zophie (Successful Appeal). Buddy's Humor has an unnamed yearling half-sister by Monarchos.


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