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This is the fifth in a series of notes and impressions about the new stallions in Kentucky for 2009. The horses will be reviewed alphabetically.

Distorted Reality (2004 chestnut by Distorted Humor out of Christy Love, by Unbridled)

Stands at Buck Pond Farm for $5,000 live foal

A good-sized chestnut son of Distorted Humor, Distorted Reality is a handsome horse. His racing ability was a mirror to his looks, all for the good. And the prospects of Distorted Humor as a sire of stallions lies as much with useful animals like Distorted Reality as it does with the stars of their generation, such as Any Given Saturday and Flower Alley.

If a stallion gets serviceable sires from good sons, then the prospects for the very best are bright indeed. And if Distorted Humor succeeds in that most difficult of assignments for any good stallion, then he may rise to rank alongside Mr. Prospector, Northern Dancer, and Bold Ruler as a breed-shaping stallion.

A.P. Indy’s son Pulpit has already given ample indication that he is the real deal as a sire of stallions, with Sky Mesa and Tapit in successive years as freshmen stallions. And Distorted Humor would not be a surprise with successes from his early sons at stud. Indeed, the son of Forty Niner is passing on excellent traits. Most of his stock possess very good cardio systems, which aids their racing potential, and they tend to have an attitude for racing that is hard and unflinching.

Whereas their sire was somewhat too fiery on the racetrack for his own best interests, like some others among the offspring of Forty Niner, Distorted Humor has tended to sire stock that are mentally sounder and at least as physically robust as himself. If his sons continue this, so much the better for their prospects.

Divine Park (2004 bay by Chester House out of High in the Park, by Ascot Knight)

Stands at Airdrie Stud for $17,500 live foal

Individual races can’t actually determine which horses will become better sires, but some races, such as the Kentucky Derby, Whitney, and Metropolitan Handicap, have become synonymous with “sire races” because they tend to produce deep, highly competitive fields from which only the best prospects emerge victorious.

That Divine Park won the Metropolitan is a major league accomplishment, especially since he was only a $20,000 yearling. Furthermore, his sire Chester House was dismissed as a minor sire after his early death.

That has all changed.

Chester House was represented by a pair of winners at the 2008 Breeders’ Cup races: Ventura (BC Filly Sprint) and Muhannak (BC Marathon). In addition to these and Divine Park, the stallion has had success on both sides of the Atlantic and with racers on both turf and dirt.

Divine Park shows quality allied with good strength. He has considerable power from an outstanding hindleg and excellent depth through his girth and shoulder. Divine Park does turn out his right foreleg, which may impact his sales yearlings, as it unfairly restricted his own sales price.

Even so, Divine Park has the scope, size, and substance to offer breeders plenty to work with.