06/09/2003 12:00AM

Mynameischase keeps trainer in the game


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The situation is getting out of hand.

Mynameischase deserved his odds of 120-1 in a race he won here May 14. Two weeks later people shook their heads when he won again at 15-1, but they still didn't bet on him when he returned Sunday at Arlington. He won again, this time paying $38.40, and any adventurous soul who began betting Mynameischase last month is walking around with a momentous wad of cash. A $2 win parlay beginning with Mynameischase's first win would be worth more than $78,000.

That's only a fantasy. In the real world, Mynameischase is keeping afloat the training life of Nicolas Perez.

Perez, a small player on the Chicago circuit, asked for six stalls at Arlington, but received only two. One is for Western Thunder, whose current form is terrible, the other for Mynameischase. The owner Frank Calabrese, Perez said, made an offer on Mynameischase after the horse won here May 28. Had Perez's owners accepted, it would have finished off Perez, at least for this meet.

"I said, Go ahead if you need to, but it will put me out of business," Perez said. "I can't drive all the way out here from Cicero [Ill.] for just the one horse."

Mynameischase's owners, Jim Perrone and Stephen Richek, turned the offer down, and Sunday they were back in the winner's circle once again.

Perrone and Richek claimed Mynameischase for just $4,000 April 26 at Hawthorne. It didn't look like they were getting much. Mynameischase had finished eighth or ninth in his four starts this year, which is why his odds were so long when he started in a second-level statebred allowance race. Racing over a sloppy track, Mynameischase won by almost four lengths under rider Cruz Contreras. Perez, trying to be realistic, ran him back in a $7,500 claiming race for his second win, and on Sunday Mynameischase won for $10,000. As he has come into form, Mynameischase has gotten more confident. He raced near the lead in his first two wins, but rallied from far back Sunday.

"The horse is just doing good," Perez said Sunday. "You can see the difference in him now, the way he came back from that first win and the way he came back from the second one. This time, he bounced right back."

And as long as Mynameischase keeps going, so can Perez.

Awesome Humor back on game

Bouncing back from a disappointing comeback race last month, Awesome Humor won an allowance race early Friday evening at Arlington. The win suggested Awesome Humor hasn't been diminished by season-ending ankle surgery last year, and it also showed she may be as effective in route races as she has been in sprints.

Awesome Humor got up to seven furlongs last season, the distance of her most important win in the Grade 1 Spinaway. But her comeback race at Churchill - in which she finished a distant fourth - was at six furlongs, and Awesome Humor stretched out to 1 1/8 miles Friday.

She had little problem with it. Awesome Humor tossed her head a couple times as jockey Rene Douglas reined in her speed, and she sat second behind a 24.43-second opening quarter-mile. Awesome Humor moved to the lead by the half-mile pole and was challenged around the far turn by Spirited Maiden, and as soon as she put Spirited Maiden away at the top of the stretch, the graded stakes winner Lakenheath took her shot. Awesome Humor had enough left for her, too, and drew away late to win by 1 1/4 lengths, covering the nine furlongs in 1:50.98.

"Horses can get a little aggressive [stretching out], but she was a professional filly," Douglas said. "I hit her a couple times in the stretch and she took off."

For trainer Elliott Walden, Awesome Humor's success opens plenty of options.

"We wanted to go two turns and get a win into her, and we were able to do both," Walden said. "We'll look at the Mother Goose or the Delaware Oaks, something like that."

The Mother Goose is run June 28 at Belmont. The Delaware Oaks, at Delaware Park, is July 19.

Adjust notes on trainer Boyce

The book on trainer Michelle Boyce said that her horses coming back from a winter layoff would need a start before running their best. But that book is looking outdated. Boyce has been very effective with comeback horses this year, especially grass horses, and that's one reason Cozy merits close attention in Arlington's featured eighth race Wednesday.

Cozy hasn't raced since November, but her long string of regular workouts, including two at six furlongs, is a hint Cozy won't need a race to be at her best. Whether her best is good enough is debatable, since Cozy had all last season to win a race at this three-other-than allowance level and couldn't finish the job. Still, she came close several times, and her performance level fits in this group.

The X-factor in a race scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on grass is Melody Blue, whose most recent start came less than two weeks ago at Hollywood Park. Melody Blue, who has just moved into trainer Mike Stidham's barn, faced the likes of stakes winner Dublino earlier this season.