06/15/2011 1:34PM

Hastings: Sense of Humor brings versatile speed

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Sense of Humor looks like the one to catch in a $25,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up that will serve as Friday’s feature at Hastings. The 6 1/2-furlong sprint drew eight horses and goes as race 7 on the eight-race card that starts at 7 p.m. Pacific.

Trained by Mel Snow, Sense of Humor will be running in a straight claiming race for the first time. Stakes-placed twice as a 3-year-old last year, Sense of Humor is coming off of an easy four-length win in a first-level allowance race for B.C.-breds May 28. With Jorge Espitia aboard, Sense of Humor used his speed to clear early, held a 1 1/2-length lead at the top of the stretch, and then drew off while under mild urging.

The moderate fractions he was allowed to set had a lot to do with Sense of Humor’s easy win, but he is capable of going fast early and hanging on late as evidenced by his very good second to Dyna Stroll in the Jim Coleman Province last year.

Espitia retains the mount.

Bonboni looks like the main threat even though he is doubling his claiming price. He will be making his first start for trainer Elizabeth Stolzenberg, who claimed him on behalf of Ken and Anne Pert for $12,500 May 27. Bonboni scored easy wins in his two starts here for trainer Steve Henson, who claimed him on behalf of Rick Hunter for $6,250 at Turf Paradise March 13. In his first start for Henson Bonboni came from a stalking position to win a $7,500 claiming race by 2 1/4 lengths. He led every step of the way when he came back to score a three-length win over Rallying Cry in the race Stolzenberg claimed him out of

Bonboni’s versatility should help him in a race where there is ample speed.

Cherokee Tear is also taking a big jump in class, but he doesn’t appear to be overmatched, and he does have some back class. In two starts this year he romped by more than eight lengths in a $7,500 conditional claiming race May 1 and then upset Riboletto in a $5,000 starter race May 21. Cherokee Tear is owned by trainer Rob Gilker and his wife, Victoria Gilker. The Gilkers claimed him for $5,000 last August and then turned him out for the remainder of the year. The time off certainly helped turn the 7-year-old gelding around.