06/24/2011 5:10PM

Belmont Park: Bound by Humor jumps up for Mike Lee Stakes

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Bound by Humor wins a statebred maiden race by 6 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park on May 18.

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ELMONT, N.Y. – Bound by Humor is the only member of the six-horse field entered in Sunday’s $100,000 Mike Lee Stakes at Belmont Park that is making the jump from the maiden ranks to stakes company. The task may not seem as daunting as it first looks.
In his last start, Bound by Humor won a six-furlong maiden race by 6 3/4 lengths. The horse who finished second that day, Bud White, came back to win a maiden race by nearly 18 lengths here Thursday, making him the second horse that finished behind Bound by Humor to win.
On Sunday, Bound By Humor will take on stakes winners Bug Juice, Darrin’s Dilemma, and Preachintothedevil in the seven-furlong Mike Lee, the first leg of the Big Apple Triple for New York-bred 3-year-olds. There is a $100,000 bonus available to the connections of a horse that can win the Mike Lee, the New York Derby at Finger Lakes on July 16, and the Albany Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 24. One caveat is that each race must have at least six horses leave the starting gate. Only six entered the Mike Lee.
Bound by Humor went winless in four starts last year, including a seventh-place finish in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes when he was still a maiden. He was transferred to trainer Tom Albertrani in January, and in his first start for him, Bound by Humor rolled to victory. After breaking on top and racing as part of the pace early on, he dropped back to fourth after a fast opening quarter-mile. Bound by Honor came back and rallied along the rail in upper stretch before drawing clear.
“He was behind the leaders, and I think he moved up pretty quickly into the turn and drew off,” Albertrani said. “He’s got a stalking running style, and we’ll try to keep to that.”
Alan Garcia rides Bound by Humor from post 3.
There appears to be ample speed in this field, with Darrin’s Dilemma, who has won two Stallion Stakes races in his last two starts, and Bug Juice, who won the two New York-bred stakes at Finger Lakes last fall.
Bug Juice finished his season with a sixth-place finish the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot at Delta Downs and began this year with a third-place finish in the Tom Ridge Stakes, run over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs.
“I’m not sure he liked the [synthetic] or not, but he ran good,” trainer Bruce Levine said. “He hung a little bit at the end. I didn’t squeeze him for his first race. I think he’ll run well, the only question mark is seven” furlongs.
Tap Attack returns to New York-bred company after finishing last in the Grade 2 Peter Pan. Two starts back, he was beaten a neck in a one-mile New York-bred stakes at Aqueduct.
Preachintothedevil won the Champagneforashley Stakes on New Year’s Day at Aqueduct and was tried in a couple of Triple Crown prep races to no avail. In his most recent start, he was fourth in a overnight turf stakes. He now returns to New York-bred company, against whom he is 2 for 3.
Pin Number, a half-brother to New York-bred stakes winners Raffie’s Treasure, Dr. V’s Magic, and Organizer, completes the field.