08/27/2009 11:00PM

Justenuffhumor on hot streak

Barbara D. Livingston
Justenuffhumor wins the Fourstardave earlier this month for his fifth straight victory.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Distance, course condition, and pace have yet to be issues for Justenuffhumor, who seeks his sixth consecutive victory in Friday's Grade 2, $200,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga.


From Gulfstream to Aqueduct to Belmont to Saratoga's outer turf course, Justenuffhumor has handled them all in races from a mile to 1 1/16 miles run over firm or good ground, including the here last out on Aug. 2. Friday, Justenuffhumor will try to add Saratoga's inner turf course and 1 1/8 miles to his impressive resume.

Justenuffhumor is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, who has won 3 of the last 6 runnings of this race. In 2003, McLaughlin swept the Fourstardave and Bernard Baruch with Trademark.

The pace scenario of the Bernard Baruch looks to be similar to that of the Fourstardave, which is to say lacking. While Cowboy Cal looks to be the main speed again, that colt's trainer, Todd Pletcher, would prefer to have a target to follow.

"I don't like what I'm seeing on paper as far as there's not an easily identifiable pacesetter," Pletcher said. "I'll leg Johnny [Velazquez] up and wish him good luck."

McLaughlin will give Alan Garcia a leg up and hope that his horse's good fortune continues. In winning the Fourstardave, Garcia kept Justenuffhumor in behind horses and toward the back of the pack before cutting to the inside in the stretch en route to a 2 1/2-length win.

If there's one concern, it's that Justenuffhumor is running back in 26 days, the closest spacing of his races during the streak.

"This is probably a little close back than he's experienced, but it's because of races not going and him moving around," McLaughlin said.

Justenuffhumor will be coupled in the wagering with Colony, who is sent out by Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Stable. Colony was third in an overnight stakes to stablemate Tam Lin at Belmont.

At 15-1, Calder shipper Mambo Meister ran a strong second to Justenuffhumor in the Fourstardave and remained in Saratoga for this race. Trainer Phil Gleaves hopes a little firmer ground and a little farther distance will help Mambo Meister turn the tables.

"This horse is pretty tractable," Gleaves said. "I don't expect to be too far back. We want to see Cowboy Cal in our sights and I think a firm turf will help."

Among the potential upsetters are Seaspeak, winner of the Dallas Turf Cup in May, and Sette E Mazzo, a recent second-level allowance winner sent out by five-time Baruch-winning trainer Bill Mott.