Odds-on favorite Kool Humor took command early and held on to defeat Shawklit Man by 1 ¼ lengths in Saturday's $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. The victory in front of 8,392 fans gave jockey Eddie Martin Jr. his record eighth stakes win of the meeting, and trainer Jack Bruner his first ever at the Dallas-Fort Worth area racetrack.Kool Humor, a 3-year-old son of Distorted Humor, covered seven furlongs in a swift 1:21.92 on a track labeled "muddy" by Texas Racing Commission stewards. He paid $3.40 to win.Kool Humor is campaigned by Tom Durant of Granbury, Texas, Lone Star Park's leading owner in 1998 and 2000. He won the Alysheba two years ago with Touch Tone, who nearly upset eventual Horse of the Year Point Given in that year's Haskell Invitational (gr. I). "I was really pleased with him," said Bruner, who assumed the training duties of Kool Humor and about 60 others when Durant and trainer Ronny Werner dissolved their partnership in early June. "He's come around and he's been training like we wanted him to all week."Kool Humor's presence in the sprint for 3-year-olds scared away most of the competition. The New Jersey-bred entered the Alysheba off an impressive 6 ½-length allowance win at Lone Star Park on June 18. Prior to that, he was third in the $200,000 USA Stakes on Memorial Day.In a field of four after the late scratch of Yessirgeneralsir, Kool Humor pressed the early pace and took command midway down the backstretch, crossing the half-mile pole in :44.95. He pulled clear on the turn for home and held well in the stretch under strong urging from Martin."He broke sharp," said Martin, who eclipsed Marlon St. Julien's 1997 record for stakes wins in a single season. "My colt was running so easy, so I just let him be. I was worried about that big red machine (Shawklit Man). I heard him coming there late in the lane and I got after my horse pretty good. He prevailed."
It was Kool Humor's third win in seven starts. The $60,000 winner's share boosted his earnings to $141,410. Shawklit Man, with Corey Lanerie in the saddle, stalked in third early on and finished determinedly in the stretch drive, but could not reach the winner. "I thought I had him for a minute," Lanerie said. "What a horse to click off those fractions and keep going." Iceanwater was another 7 ½ lengths behind in third, and Haillye's A.T.M. completed the finish. (Chart, Equibase)