While Cutting Humor was light on racing credentials prior to Sunday, he has perfectly good pedigree credentials for a potential Classic contender. A son of Claiborne stallion First Samurai, the colt is from one of Claiborne's more successful families of the 1990s, that of the Forty Niner mare Tour.
Bred by Patricia Blass and Claiborne from their stakes-winning Full Pocket mare Fun Flight, Tour proved a capable sprinter, winning the 1993 Curious Clover Handicap (a listed race) at Hollywood Park and placing in eight stakes races. She got off to a good start to her broodmare career with her first foal. Bred to Lord At War, she produced Trip, a multiple Grade III winner. While Trip produced only one stakes winner, Passport (by Pulpit), she is the second dam of three stakes winners including multiple Grade I winner Bolt d'Oro.
The remainder of Tour's broodmare career continued on a solid but not stellar level, with two more stakes winners and two lesser daughters who became stakes-producing broodmares (including Leave, dam of multiple Grade II winner Departing). Her second stakes winner, Joke, was the product of a mating with the top sprinter Phone Trick and, predictably, was a sprinter herself, winning the 2001 Vallejo Stakes (a listed race) at Golden Gate Fields. Joke, in turn, threw the brilliant speedster Zensational (by Unbridled's Song), winner of three Grade I sprints.
Prior to producing Zensational, Joke produced the unraced Pulpit mare Pun, who is turning out a pretty fair broodmare in her own right. Cutting Humor is the second graded stakes performer for Pun, who had previously produced Grade II-placed listed stakes winner Irish You Well (by Broken Vow).
Besides his level of overall class, one question that Cutting Humor still has to answer is that of stamina. While the track record he set for 9 furlongs on the Sunland Park Derby is certainly a good sign, Tour's family has been one in which speed has predominated. The X factor, then, is likely to be how much stamina First Samurai has bequeathed to his son, and to date he has been more a source of miler speed than stamina. Still, there are exceptions to every rule, and if Cutting Humor proves he has classic stamina in addition to speed, he may take his family touring in a new direction.