01/18/2007 1:00AM

Dash of Humor in season debut off strong '06


NEW ORLEANS - Dash of Humor didn't reach her potential until last year at age 6, and trainer Hal Wiggins and owner James Conway hope there are more good things to come, beginning with Saturday's $75,000 Truly Bound Handicap at Fair Grounds.

The card also includes the $75,000 Gentilly Handicap for 3-year-old Louisiana-breds.

Dash of Humor didn't make it to the races until she was a 4-year-old, but she showed ability right away, winning her maiden at first asking. She ran only twice as a 5-year-old, and needed a long rest after fracturing a bone in her ankle.

"Mr. Conway is very patient with his horses and it really paid dividends with this one," said Wiggins. "He said if she comes back okay, then fine, but if she's not 100 percent we'll just stop on her."

She came back better than okay, fashioning a 5-2-3 record in 13 starts in 2006 and earning $264,069.

"She kind of surprised us when she just kept running and kept running, coming out of her races in really good shape," said Wiggins. "So we just kept her going and she had a really good year."

Dash of Humor showed a sudden fondness for turf last year, winning a pair of stakes races and a $100,000 claimer on the surface.

"She's out of a Nureyev mare, so we thought she might like the grass," said Wiggins. "She's probably a little bit better on the grass, but she's really all right on the dirt."

Dash of Humor proved that by winning the off-the-grass Furl Sail Dec. 31 in her last start. Now she tries dirt again in the 1 1/16-mile Truly Bound. She could return to turf for the $150,000 Bayou Breeders' Cup on Feb. 24.

"There's quite a bit of time between the Furl Sail and that race, so we thought we'd go ahead and run her here," Wiggins said.

Saturday's field includes Aly's Vow, who finished a head behind Dash of Humor in the Furl Sail, and Lady Pegasus, who was favored in the Furl Sail but faded to seventh after disputing the early pace.

Another contender is Delicate Dynamite, who ran second in the Pago Hop, then destroyed a third-level allowance field last out for trainer Tom Amoss, who also has entered Stormy Amber, a winner of 4 of her last 5 starts.

Josie Carroll saddles Ballroom Deputy, the top earner in the field ($348,039). Multiple stakes winner Eyes on Eddy is also a threat in her first start for trainer Steve Asmussen.