07/02/2003 11:00PM

Kool Humor top choice in Alysheba


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - One of the best horses to race in the $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup in its seven-year history is Touch Tone. Racing for Tom Durant, he won the seven-furlong stakes in his second career start and went on to finish a memorable second to eventual Horse of the Year Point Given in the Grade 1 Haskell.

On Saturday, Durant has Kool Humor in the Alysheba at Lone Star Park. The promising Kool Humor should start as the favorite in a five-horse field that includes Shawklit Man, a winner of 3 of 4 starts, and Iceanwater, second last out in the $200,000 USA Stakes on the Lone Star turf.

Kool Humor was third in the USA. His next start came on dirt, the surface of his maiden win, and he rolled to a 6 1/2-length victory in an entry-level allowance June 18. He covered the mile in a sharp 1:36.

"He's a racehorse," said Eddie Martin Jr., who rode Kool Humor in the allowance and will be aboard again Saturday. "He did that with plenty of pedal left."

Kool Humor was cross-entered in the $50,000 Airline at Louisiana Downs on Saturday but will run at Lone Star, according to his trainer, Jack Bruner. Kool Humor worked a bullet three furlongs in 35 seconds in his final prep for the Alysheba.

"I'm real pleased with him," said Bruner. "We're still evaluating him, but he seems to be a pretty nice individual."

Kool Humor, a son of Distorted Humor, has excellent natural speed but can settle behind the pace if needed, Bruner said.

"There should be a lot more speed on the front end than what we had in his last out, but I don't think that will be a factor for him," said Bruner. "He'll rate and do whatever Eddie wants. Eddie seems to get along with him really well."

Shawklit Man should be sharp for the Alysheba on the heels of a win in his last start, a 6 1/2-furlong allowance at Churchill Downs on June 1. Last year, the Woodman colt won the first two starts of his career, including the $75,000 MEC Mile at Remington Park.

Corey Lanerie has the mount on Shawklit Man, who is owned by K C Horse Corp. and trained by Steve Asmussen.

Iceanwater outran his odds in the USA when he rallied from well back to finish second, beaten a neck, at 41-1. Earlier this meet, he was a close fifth in the $100,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge.

Bret Calhoun, who has won with 33 percent of his starters this meet, has given the mount to Jeremy Beasley.