Hero of Order entered the starting gate of the Louisiana Derby
with only one victory to his credit in 13 lifetime starts. He’d previously been drilled by a combined 10
½ lengths in the Lecomte (G-3) and Risen
Star (G-2), so there was no reason to think the front-running colt would hold
on for a victory in one of the biggest upsets in the prestigious Fairgrounds
Breaking from the 12 post position, Hero of Order joined the mad
scramble for the early lead. Once the front runners sorted themselves out, the
26-1 Cominsky’s Humor took them through brisk fractions of 23.29 and 47.24 for the half mile. Hero of Order bravely grabbed the lead at the
¾ pole as Cominsky’s Humor ran out of gas.
The aggressively ridden colt held a length advantage through the stretch
over the favorite Mark Valeski and Rousing Sermon who was a nose back in
third. Hero of Order ran 1 1/8 miles in
1:50.13, just a tick faster than the 2009 Louisiana Derby winner Mission
Impazible who stopped the clock in 1:50.32. Hero of Order’s final eighth mile was run in
a slow :13.47 seconds.
Let’s review Hero of Order’s pedigree, running style and
HERO OF ORDER (Sharp Humor - Ocean
Sprite, by Ocean Crest) is a son of Sharp Humor, a top ten leading sire since
his babies hit the track in 2010. On the race track, Sharp Humor found his
calling as a sprinter/miler. He was quick out of the gate, winning his first
race going five furlongs in early July as a two year old. Sharp Humor completed
his juvenile year with victories in two New York bred stakes races.
Sharp Humor was set upon the Triple Crown trail after a victory in
the Swale Stakes and a courageous second place finish to Barbaro in the Florida
Derby. Unfortunately, Sharp Humor
fractured a knee during the running of the Kentucky Derby and he placed second
to last. Brought back in the fall, Sharp Humor placed against New York breds in
the six furlong Hudson Handicap, but could do no better than fifth in the Cigar
Mile (G-1). Clearly not the same horse as before his injury, Sharp Humor was
retired after the Cigar Mile.
Similar to his career on the racetrack, the son of top stallion
Distorted Humor out of a daughter of Three Year Old Champ Hansel was off to a
quick start at stud. Almost half of Sharp Humor’s runners were victorious and the
precocious sire checked in sixth on the North American First Crop Sire List in
2010. In the last couple of years, his
progeny have demonstrated their sire’s win-early tendencies and determination.
The majority of Sharp Humor’s babies are distance challenged, winning up to 1
1/16 miles. Hero of Order is the first
representative of Sharp Humor to win past 1 1/16 miles. It’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing many more
crops of Sharp Humor’s offspring on North American tracks as he was sold to KRA’s
Jeju Stud Farm in Korea last year.
Hero of Order carries some stamina and class through his distaff
line. His dam Ocean Sprite was unplaced in two starts, but she is a half-sister
to precocious Things Change, heroine of the Spinaway (G-1) and Adirondack
Stakes (G-2). Ocean Sprite’s other half-sister Dinner Break was a multiple
stakes winning miler. Hero of Order’s second dam Romanticat doesn’t own any
blacktype. However, class shows up in his third generation. His third dam Country Romance, (an Ontario
bred, not related to the 2002 stakes winner) placed in three stakes events and
went on to bear the Grade 1 winning sprinter and sire Harlan. Her daughters produced the hardy stakes mare
Swearagin, grand-dam of the swift multiple graded stakes winning sprinter
Ocean Crest, the damsire of Hero of Order, is a son of European
Champ Storm Bird out of a daughter of Triple Crown Champ Seattle Slew. Ocean Crest won three of his ten starts,
twice as a dirt miler, and as a surprise winner of the Del Mar Derby going 1
1/8 miles over the turf. He also placed in the La Jolla Stakes on the lawn, but
was unplaced in the Super Derby and Breeders’ Cup Mile when switched back to
Ocean Crest stood for only two years in North America before
shipping to Turkey. Before leaving the bluegrass of Kentucky, Ocean Crest sired
six blacktype runners from two crops.
Besides Hero of Order, Ocean Crest’s daughters have produced Glens Falls
Handicap (G-3) winner Emerald Beech and the listed stakes sprinter/milers New
York City Girl and Spring Party.
Hero of Order’s second damsire is 1982 Kentucky Derby hero Gato
Del Sol, who lends extra stamina to the pedigree.
Hero of Order is the first foal sired by Sharp Humor out of a
Storm Bird sire line stallion. Sharp
Humor’s sire Distorted Humor has had success with mares from this line.
Overall, this cross has produced nine winners from 12 starters and three stakes
horses, including the dual track record setting stakes veteran Commentator.
Hero of Order’s conformation is difficult to ascertain from
available photos. He appears to be an averaged sized colt with a miler’s
build. He has a slightly upright, strong
shoulder and his hindquarters appear proper for his frame without being overly
muscular. He has a smooth even gait without high leg action or paddling. Hero of Order enjoys setting or pressing the
pace with his high cruising speed.
Although he won at 1 1/8 miles, Hero of Order appeared to be visibly
tiring about a furlong from the wire and won with sheer determination. The classic distances appear out of his range
and Hero of Order has a long way to go to compare with the likes of Union Rags,
and other established Triple Crown contenders.
As we’ve seen in recent years, anything can happen in a Classic race. Hero
of Order may find himself earning minor placing in the Kentucky Derby or
Preakness if the race sets up perfectly for him.
By HRN Pedigree Analyst Laurie Ross