11/14/2003 12:00AM

'Excessive' won't be 10-1 now


In his three derby wins, Excessivepleasure has never received the kind of respect at the windows he will command Sunday when he starts as a heavy favorite in the Grade 3, $150,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park.

Excessivepleasure has the look of a standout in the 1 1/8-mile derby, the richest race of the Remington meet. He is by far the most accomplished runner in the Oklahoma Derby field with 5 wins from 10 career starts, including the WinStar Derby at Sunland Park, the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows, and the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park, and has earnings of $889,582.

Excessivepleasure, who was not favored in any of his three derby wins this year, has excellent speed. In his last start, Excessivepleasure was 10-1 when he posted a front-running win over Grand Hombre and Wando, winner of the Canadian Triple Crown, in the Grade 3, $400,000 Indiana Derby.

"He ran fantastic," said Doug O'Neill, who trains Excessivepleasure for Lee and Ty Leatherman. "He's been a very consistent, good horse all year long."

Among the five horses set to challenge Excessivepleasure are Kool Humor, winner of the $100,000 Alysheba at Lone Star Park and the $50,000 Prelude at Louisiana Downs, and Comic Truth, a closer who would benefit from a duel between Excessivepleasure and Kool Humor.

Excessivepleasure has perhaps just one question facing him Sunday. He has yet to win at nine furlongs in two starts at the distance. One of those starts, however, was the Grade 1 Haskell, a race in which Excessivepleasure stumbled badly at the start.

"I think it won't be a problem," said O'Neill, regarding the distance. "He's got that awesome combination of speed and stamina, and against the right group of horses hopefully it will be well within his reach."

Jon Court, who rode Excessivepleasure in the Indiana and Iowa derbies, has the mount Sunday.

Kool Humor appears to be the chief threat. He comes into the Oklahoma Derby on the heels of a fourth-place finish to Ten Most Wanted in the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby.

After that race, a foot abscess was discovered in a hind hoof. Kool Humor has recovered, and seems to be sitting on a top effort for owner Tom Durant and trainer Jack Bruner.

"He's trying to tear the barn down," said Bruner, who is winning with 32 percent of his starters in 2003. "Physically, he's in great shape. I like him. I think pretty highly of him."

Kerwin Clark has the mount.