07/14/2010 5:38PM

Prized Humour, Gazumba rematch at Woodbine


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Prized Humour lost to a fast-closing Gazumba in a May 28 maiden special, but the tables could be turned when they meet again Friday at Woodbine in the eighth race, a first-level allowance scheduled for nine furlongs on the grass.

Prized Humour, a nicely bred 4-year-old by Distorted Humor, is well regarded by trainer Darwin Banach. He didn’t debut until April 17, when he rallied for third in a seven-furlong maiden event. Three weeks later, he finished third again on the Polytrack, this time over 1 1/16 miles.

When Prized Humour competed over a mile on the turf May 28, he was the only runner in contention at the wire who was in close proximity to the rapid pace. He wound up second after dueling with Gazumba in midstretch and was awarded an 83 Beyer Speed Figure.

Prized Humour subsequently missed some training due to illness. He made quite a splash when he returned to action July 2, going coast to coast in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special, a race he probably wasn’t cranked up for.

Eurico Da Silva has the mount on Prized Humour, a Bill Sorokolit homebred.

Gazumba, a lightly raced 5-year-old by Awesome Again, is out of the graded turf stakes winner Diadella. He showed little when he debuted in a Polytrack sprint April 30, but then promptly found his calling on the grass May 28, scoring with a rail bid after getting away slowly. The fifth-place finisher from that event, Cognashene, romped in his next appearance.

Jim McAleney will ride Gazumba, who is trained by Sean Smullen for Stronach Stable.

Merkabah turned heads when he led throughout his lone outing going long on the grass at Gulfstream in March, for which he got an 86 Beyer. A 4-year-old by Theatrical, Merkabah is the first foal from Grade 3 Royal North Stakes winner Chopinina, who ran second among the boys in the Grade 1 Atto Mile.

Victory Pass has been campaigned sporadically since returning from an extended layoff last October and is coming off an authoritative maiden victory over a mile.

Cold Harbor has spent an eternity at the first allowance category. He has performed well on the grass without finding the mark and was recently third in a Polytrack route.

Shellback is by a pretty good grass sire in Tapit, and there’s a little turf breeding on the dam’s side.