12/01/2010 12:45PM

Thunder Ball, Prized Humour meet again in allowance

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Thunder Ball and Prized Humour are the obvious protagonists in Friday’s eighth race, and Thunder Ball could turn the tables on his rival in the nine-furlong allowance that headlines the third-last day of the Woodbine Racetrack meet.

Prized Humour has had a frustrating time trying to clear this first allowance condition, since earning his diploma on Polytrack on July 2. He came up a half-length short of turning the trick on the grass Oct. 2, but could only manage fourth over yielding ground Oct. 30.

Prized Humour went back to the Polytrack for his last outing Nov. 13 and was prominent throughout that 1 1/16-mile event before ending up three-quarters of a length behind Cold Harbor in second.

The slight stretchout in distance may not be to Prized Humour’s benefit, but this will be his first start under Patrick Husbands, who has compiled solid numbers for trainer Darwin Banach.

After showing some promise last year at 2, Thunder Ball has been campaigned sporadically this year by trainer Reade Baker.

Thunder Ball awaited room early in the stretch before closing for a neck loss when third in his next-to last appearance. Most recently in another 1 1/16-mile allowance, he went five wide on both turns before making up some ground for fourth, finishing just 2 1/4 lengths behind Prized Humour.

Emma Wilson has the mount on Thunder Ball, who has gone Lasix-free since he failed to finish in last year’s Display Stakes.

Archon trailed in a five-horse field in the Oct. 24 Mobil Stakes for Ontario-bred 3-year-olds, but he was a respectable third the time before in a nine-furlong allowance on the grass.

Perfect Loch never fired in the 13-furlong allowance prep for the Valedictory Stakes. He was previously a minor player in entry-level allowance company and seems capable of rounding out the trifecta or superfecta.

Raging Star, who drew post 14, takes a three-race win streak in claimers into this event. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure in the low 80s in his last two excursions. The Beyer par for this level is 83, so he might not be out of his league.

Spirit Flying came very wide from 10 lengths back to finish fifth behind Prized Humour and Thunder Ball on Nov. 13. Luis Contreras, who was aboard for his maiden victory, returns after a one-race absence.

Grapes is stretching out with the pedigree of a sprinter.