08/11/2002 11:00PM

Awesome Humor looks like a good buy


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Awesome Humor, a decisive winner of Monday's $150,000 at Saratoga, is already paying dividends for WinStar Farm, which purchased the 2-year-filly last month.

Awesome Humor, the 6-5 favorite, was a 1 1/4-length winner of the Grade 2 Adirondack. Stellar closed well to finish second and was followed by the second choice, Holiday Runner, who was 4 3/4 lengths back in third. Just Call Me Angel, Crimson and Roses, and Ella Bella completed the order of finish.

Pat Day, who became racing's all-time money winner with his win aboard With Anticipation in Saturday's Sword Dancer, rode the winner.

Awesome Humor set the pace in the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack with Holiday Runner in hot pursuit. For the stretch run, Day still had a ton of horse after honest fractions of 22.12 seconds and 45.85. Stellar, who trailed early, came wide in the drive but had too much to do to catch the winner.

Day anticipated that Ella Bella and Holiday Runner would set the pace, but said his filly was keen to show the way early.

"We were hopeful that she would settle back off them, but she broke incredibly sharp," Day said.

Awesome Humor ($4.40) covered the distance in 1:17.75 over a fast track. The Adirondack was Awesome Humor's third win from as many starts.

WinStar privately purchased the Adirondack winner from owner Tom Durant and trainer Ronny Werner after Awesome Humor won the Grade 3 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs on July 6. Elliott Walden now trains Awesome Humor, a daughter of Distorted Humor.

The Adirondack win was doubly gratifying for WinStar Farm, which is owned by Kenny Troutt and Bill Casner, because Distorted Humor stands at their Kentucky farm. Walden trained Distorted Humor during his racing career.

"This is doubly great," said WinStar president Doug Cauthen. "So often you make judgments [on horses to buy] and sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong."

Walden said he would consider the Grade 1 Spinaway here on Aug. 30 or the Grade 1 Matron on Sept. 15 at Belmont for Awesome Humor's next start.

"We definitely have championship on our minds," Walden said.