08/25/2005 12:00AM

Humor at Last hoping to salvage season

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One could make a case that Humor at Last was the best Illinois-bred 2-year-old colt of 2004. Last fall at Hawthorne, he won his career debut by seven lengths, won the $90,000 Sun Power Stakes by more than two, and was second by a half-length in the Jim Edgar Futurity, his two-turn debut, after going too fast early in the race.

But this has not been a bonny season for Humor at Last, who has only a second-level Illinois-bred allowance win after six starts in 2005. Owners Ron Armstrong and Jack Wallace transferred Humor at Last to trainer Jerry Calvin a couple of months ago, and Calvin has sent Humor at Last from his Arlington Park base to Fairmount Park for the $40,000 Tex's Zing Stakes on Saturday. Humor at Last, who has the rail and jockey Emanuel Cosme, faces six opponents, including a two-pronged entry from trainer Jimmy Zook.

Humor at Last comes off a 10th-place finish at Arlington, but that came in a two-turn grass allowance that marked Humor at Last's first race after a layoff. The start might have served as a tightener for the Tex's Zing, and Humor at Last might make a clear early lead from his inside post and never look back.

Yukon Gambler and Sharp Tack, one of the Zook horses, could press the early pace, but it is the other Zook-trained horse, Foxie's Boy, with whom Humor at Last might have to deal with in the stretch.