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Breeders' Cup 2017

Louisiana Hero or Hype - Hero of Order Pedigree Profile

Hero of Order (no. 12), ridden by Eddie Martin Jr. and trained by Gennadi Dorochenko, wins the 99th running of the grade 2 Louisiana Derby for three year olds on April 1, 2012 at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
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 race.
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 conformation.
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 Pomeroy’s Pistol.
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 dirt.
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


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