The return to competition by WinStar Farm's previously unbeaten Awesome Humor on Wednesday at Churchill Downs did not turn out as well as hoped, so trainer Elliott Walden will take a "wait and see" approach on a game plan that had been pointing the filly toward the $250,000 Acorn (gr. I) at Belmont Park on June 6.The daughter of Distorted Humor, racing for the first time since she underwent surgery late last summer to remove bone chips from both front ankles, finished a non-threatening fourth as she faced a strong group of older fillies and mares in a six-furlong allowance race on Wednesday at Churchill Downs. Awesome Humor broke slowly and made a mild bid on far turn, but she never threatened the front running winner Love Talkin at any pointSent off as the 1-2 favorite, Awesome Humor finished fourth under Pat Day, beaten 14 lengths in her first career setback. Walden said Thursday she appeared to come out of the race well, but the comeback effort was clearly disappointing to the trainer of the filly who had scored victories in the Spinaway (gr. I) and Adirondack (gr. II) at Saratoga and the Debutante (gr. III) at Churchill Downs before her surgery.
"She got a lot of dirt in her face and that was new to her," Walden said. "I think that that was part of it -- at lease I hope that was part of it. She didn't break real sharp. We'll regroup and go to the next one."
But there's some question as to what that next race for Awesome Humor may be. The Acorn had been Walden's objective for the filly as she trained for her comeback through the late winter and early spring. But Walden said he's "not sure" at this point whether he will stick with that plan.
Awesome Humor did run into a strong group of veteran sprinters, a fact underscored by Love Talkin's sizzling winning time of 1.08.34. The Mike Tomlinson-trained 4-year-old daughter of Talkin Man won by 2 3/4-lengths under jockey Jon Court.