Owner Jodi Siamis and trainer Tony Alagna hope Humility is in line for more than modest success this year.
A 3-year-old colt pacer, Humility made his seasonal debut a winning one last week by capturing his first-round division of the delayed Junior Trendsetter series by two lengths over Terror High in 1:52.4. Humility is entered in Friday's second round, starting from post No. 4 with driver Tim Tetrick.
Humility is in the second of two $12,500 divisions. His split includes fellow Junior Trendsetter first-round winners A Bettor World and Resistance Futile. The Junior Trendsetter final is scheduled for March 2. The opening round of the series, originally slated for Feb. 8, was postponed because of snow.
"I was very happy with his first start,” Alagna said. "He qualified well twice, but then the first round was postponed and I was worried about him maintaining his fitness because we were hoping to start in right off the last qualifier (a win in 1:58.4 at the Meadowlands). But he trained back sharp and raced well.”
Last year, Humility won once in seven starts and earned $22,840 for Alagna and then-owner Brittany Farms. The colt won in 1:52.2 at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 24 and finished second a week later, but got sick and closed his campaign with seventh- and fifth-place finishes before being given off the rest of the year.
Brittany Farms was prepared to sell Humility at the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands, but Alagna thought Siamis might be interested in the colt. Siamis, who owned a horse trained by Alagna when he opened his own stable in 2009 and later was part of the Desperate Horsewives ownership group with Alagna's stable, ended up making a deal to buy the horse prior to the sale.
"Tony has got a great eye for horses,” said Siamis, who is a custom-home builder in Iowa. "I value his opinion and when he calls me about taking a look at a horse, I usually take more than one look.”
Humility is a son of stallion American Ideal, out of the mare Allamerican Coco. He is a half-brother to stakes-winner Foreign Officer and his family includes 2009 Breeders Crown champion All Speed Hanover, four-time Dan Patch Award-winner Eternal Camnation and 1993 Little Brown Jug winner Life Sign.
"He was a very big and growthy 2 year old,” Alagna said about Humility. "We didn't think he was ready physically or mentally for the New York Sire Stakes, so we sent him to Canada.
"Coming back this year, I thought he could be a useful 3 year old. I don't think he's a Top 10 3 year old, but I think he will be a very useful horse; a nice New York Sire Stakes horse. We're not looking to win the Meadowlands Pace with him, but he's been made eligible to some (other stakes). We're going to give him some opportunities if he progresses.”
Siamis' family got into harness racing in the 1970s through trainer/driver Owen Julius, who is in the Iowa Harness Racing Hall of Fame and is the father of trainer Julie Miller. Siamis, who also races in the Midwest, is cautiously optimistic about Humility's abilities.
"But I've been in this business long enough to know you just have to take it race by race,” she said.
Alagna hopes Humility's continued maturity bodes well for his future.
"Last year, he was just a big tall kid that hadn't figured it out yet,” Alagna said. "It's amazing when you see the difference in him.” (HRC)