10/19/2005 11:00PM

Which Sharp Humor will show?


Classic Pack and Sharp Humor present Belmont bettors with an interesting decision to make in Saturday's $100,000 Sleepy Hollow Stakes for 2-year-olds at one mile: Is Classic Pack really that much better than Sharp Humor, as he suggested when he ran away with the New York Breeders' Futurity early last month at Finger Lakes? Or, was the bad beating Sharp Humor took as the favorite at Finger Lakes an aberration, a possibility that was raised when Sharp Humor rebounded with a fast win in the Bertram F. Bongard Stakes four weeks ago?

There is no question that when they met at Finger Lakes, Classic Pack was the much better of the two. He dueled for the early lead with Sharp Humor, pulled away from him on the far turn, and racked up a 9 1/4-length rout, leaving Sharp Humor 10 1/4 lengths back in third.

But earned in his blowout score upstate.

Those inclined to think that the Sleepy Hollow will more resemble the Bongard might also be inclined to try and beat Sharp Humor with Parkhimonbroadway. Parkhimonbroadway did not have the smoothest of trips in the Bongard as the 3-5 favorite, steadying on the rail on the far turn and then angling four wide into the stretch.

But bettors leaning toward Parkhimonbroadway should first listen to what Dale Romans, the trainer of Sharp Humor, has to offer.

"He may run better this time," Romans said of Sharp Humor. "He trained so good after [the Bongard]. It looked like he made a step forward."

Although not as fast as the main players, Immersed in Gold is a wild card here. Immersed in Gold's only two starts were two turns on turf, so he has the foundation to handle a distance that most in this field have never attempted. And the fact that Immersed in Gold ran well in those grass races - he was a tough-trip third last time out to subsequent Kentucky Cup Juvenile winner Stream Cat in the With Anticipation Stakes - is encouraging, considering his pedigree is more oriented to dirt.

Completing the Sleepy Hollow field are Silver Timber, The Trip Continues, Halo Duty, Building New Era, Bronxdale, Macon's Million, Couth, Masai Warrior, and Epigrammatic. Platinum Couple and Path of Perfection are also-eligibles.

- additional reporting by David Grening