Desperately sad news from Jeju Island as Let’s Run Stud Farm has reported that one of the jewels of its breeding program, Sharp Humor, died as the result of an accident on March 18.
Aged just 12, Sharp Humor was in his 3rd breeding season in Korea, having been purchased by the Korea Racing Authority in November 2011, arriving the following February.
He covered 97 mares in 2013 and 85 in 2014, with another full book in progress this year.
Sharp Humor [Distorted Humor – Bellona (Hansel)] was a good racehorse whose full promise was thwarted by injury. As a two-year-old, he won two Stakes races at Belmont Park and there were high hopes of him as he began his three-year-old campaign in 2006. He won the G2 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park before narrowly running second to the tragic Barbaro in a stretch duel in the Florida Derby at the same track.
However, upon finishing 19th of 20 in the Kentucky Derby, again behind Barbaro, he was found to have fractured a knee. He underwent surgery and managed to return to race one more time at Belmont Park, before being retired with career figures of 4 wins from 10 starts.
Just as his potential was never truly reached on the track, regretfully neither will it be in the breeding shed. He sired plenty of winners in the USA and was sold to Korea in 2011 where he joined the rapidly improving breeding program. His two full crops have yet to make the track here with the first two-year-olds set to debut later this year.
There was very heavy rain on the island on the day of the accident. Jeju, with its rolling fields, agreeable climate and plenty of time out of the barn, is generally a pleasant posting for a stallion but a full inquiry into Sharp Humor’s death will review procedures with regard to the other valuable and high profile stallions, such as Menifee, Officer, Rock Hard Ten, Hansen and newcomer Tiz Wonderful, who stand there.
Pico Central, another expensive import, died in a paddock accident at the farm, which was previously known as the KRA Jeju Stud Farm, in February 2014.
Here’s that Florida Derby where Sharp Humor, the early front-runner, made Barbaro work all the way to the line: