Humorously at Crossroads in Aventura

(from Gulfstream Park notes)
Humorously can build on an impressive victory in the Ocala Breeders' Sales Championship earlier this month in Saturday's $250,000 Aventura Stakes for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park.

Trainer Bill White knows he has a rapidly improving prospect on his hands – one whose only other win prior to the OBS event at Ocala Training Center was a maiden claiming effort Feb. 12 here at Gulfstream.

"He's in that mode right now that you like to see a young horse," said White. "His numbers and his races are improving and he's working strongly, and attitude-wise, he seems to be getting better every day. He's an improving colt and now it's time for a race like this. It's going to be a real test."

There is evidence in Humorously's past performances for White to feel he has a diamond in the rough. The colt has raced five times, with his debut compromised by a poor start and his second race stymied by drawing post 12 in a two-turn race. Once on a fast track and with a better post, Humorously rolled away to his maiden score by five lengths. His subsequent race was on the turf and a troubled trip led to a last-place finish. But with the move back to the dirt and a van ride to Ocala, that disaster was forgotten in the OBS Championship.

Both of Humorously's wins came at 1 1/16 miles – the same distance of the Aventura – and both times the colt used front-running tactics.

"He's by Distorted Humor , and that's also Funny Cide's sire," said White. "It looks like Funny Cide is the type of horse that runs best when he's forwardly placed and my colt's natural running style is the same way. He runs away from the gate and the jockey doesn't have to forced the issue."

The colt showed some of that speed in his bullet workout Saturday morning at Calder, drilling five furlongs in 1:00 2/5. It was fastest of 36 workers at that distance that morning and was the second straight bullet workout White has coaxed from him.

"He worked very, very well and came out of it all ready to go," said Whilte. "This will be the most important race of his career. We know, right now, he's an improving horse and headed in the right direction. This race will let us gauge how ambitious we can be with him.

"A big effort will definitely make us look at graded races in the future. A disappointing race means we have to decide where we go. It will go a long way in determining who he is, where he is and where he's going."