05/16/2007 12:00AM

Country Humor set to start '07 campaign


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Country Humor, fourth in the Winnipeg Futurity in his career debut last season, faces a tough group of older horses to begin his 3-year-old campaign in Friday's featured seventh race here at Assiniboia Downs

A first-level allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs, the feature attracted a field of 10.

Owned by Phil Kives's K-5 Stables and trained by Sylvester Oliverre, Country Humor won his only other start at 2 by 12 1/2 lengths.

A son of Distorted Humor, Country Humor has worked well for this race and will be ridden by Mark Anderson for the first time.

Making their first starts here are Cascadian Buck, Hot off the Bench, Dayblue, I'm a Riper, and Red Emperor.

Cascadian Buck, also a 3-year-old, ran three times this winter at Portland Meadows. Trained by Jonathan Nance, Cascadian Buck won his second start by 12 1/4 lengths over restricted maidens, then had a victory taken away via disqualification against conditioned allowance foes.

Hot off the Bench was claimed for $8,000 by trainer Clay Brinson in his last start, which came at Turf Paradise on April 20.

Martin Drexler will send out Dayblue and I'm a Riper, both four-time winners who have raced exclusively in Ontario.

Ardell Sayler saddles Red Emperor and Northern Watch.

Red Emperor took a one-mile turf race at Mountaineer Park last summer for his only victory. Northern Watch defeated maiden special weight company here in his final start of 2006, while Hezontheprowl defeated condition claimers to begin his season on May 6.

Rig Hand won 4 of 7 starts last season.

Double Dare, whose only win came over maiden claimers here last year, rounds out the field.

Davis barn sizzling

Mel Davis was the hottest trainer here last weekend, posting a 4-2-1 record from 7 starts, and as of Friday he leads all trainers with six victories. Carl Anderson and Tom Gardipy Jr. are tied for second with three wins apiece.

Jockeys Alan Cuthbertson and Renaldo Cumberbatch both had three wins last weekend to lead the way among riders.

Cuthbertson tops the local jockey standings with six wins. Cumberbatch, Mark Anderson, and Larry Munoz are tied for second with four wins each.