Pomona, Calif. (Sept. 27, 2009) -- Z Humor, a 4-year-old, won two races as a 2-year-old and hadn't won since.
The 2 for 20 son of Distorted Humor changed all that on Sunday, going wire to wire in the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap at Fairplex Park to win the marquee race of the meet for a $28.40 payoff as the longest shot in the field of eight.
Trained by Mike Mitchell and ridden by Martin Garcia, Z Humor was rushed for the early lead, a place that the betting public thought the 9-5 favorite Acclamation would be.
The pair battled one-two all the way around the three turned race, cutting out fractions of 24.32, 47.83, 1:12.52 and 1:38.07.
Into the stretch Garcia was slashing away on Z Humor and jockey Joe Talamo was doing the same to Acclamation who came up a length short in 1:51.43 for the 1 1/8 mile race.
It was 3 lengths back to Racketeer in third with Trevor's Clever fourth.
"Mike told me to get the lead, no matter what," said Garcia. "As a 2-year-old the horse won a big race at Delta Downs (in Louisiana) on the same kind of track as this one. He was getting tired and so was I."
The well-traveled Z Humor has raced seemingly everywhere. In addition to Fairplex he's been to Emerald Downs, Hollywood Park, Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, Churchill Downs and Delta Downs.
By winning the Pomona Handicap Z Humor, who was purchased at auction for $240,000, now has won three of 21 races, while making the board another six times and boosting his career earnings to $717,705.
It was the fourth Pomona Handicap victory for Mitchell who wasn't in attendance. Mitchell also scored with Hotel Hall (2004), Chinkapin (2003) and Speedcratic (1989).
Z Humor returned $28.40, $11 and $5.
Jockey Kyle Kaenel was rushed to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center after the eighth race on Sunday when his mount, Sheval Dom Sallay (cq), clipped heels down the backstretch, dislodging the rider.
X-rays revealed the young rider has a broken right collar bone.
For 14 days no one has been able to isolate all the winners in the $1 win pick nine.
On Sunday one ticket correctly tabbed eight out of nine winners for an $11,838.10 payoff.