06/15/2009 11:00PM

Justenuffhumor unbeaten on turf


ELMONT, N.Y. - Though only temporary, it's expected to stop raining around here long enough to perhaps allow all five of Wednesday's scheduled turf races at Belmont Park to actually be run on the grass. Through the first 34 days of the meet, a total of 50 races have been taken off the turf, 24 since June 4. More rain is in the forecast beginning Thursday.

If Wednesday's forecast holds, Justenuffhumor will seek to remain perfect on the turf when he faces six opponents in the day's featured third-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles over the inner turf.

Justenuffhumor is a 4-year-old half-brother to the 2006 2-year-old filly champion Dreaming of Anna, who was an eight-time stakes winner on the grass. After finishing ninth in his debut last fall over Keeneland's Polytrack, Justenuffhumor has gone 3 for 3 on turf, including a 3 1/4-length first-level allowance win at Aqueduct on April 25. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin wanted another race for Justenuffhumor before stepping him up into stakes company and has waited patiently for this condition to fill.

"We are happy that a three-other-than went," McLaughlin said. "He is probably and hopefully a stakes horse, but we wanted to go the conservative route, get an allowance race and go from there."

McLaughlin said Justenuffhumor "is a knucklehead" at the gate and would probably be loaded first.

"Once he's in there, he's good," McLaughlin said. "He's trained very well, he's run very well."

One thing working against Justenuffhumor in this spot is the apparent lack of pace. But in his last race, Justenuffhumor rallied to win from 12 lengths back after an opening half-mile in 48.92 seconds. Two horses have come back to win from that April 25 race, though they had to drop into the claiming ranks to do it.

"We would prefer pace, but if not he'll lay a little closer and still kick, hopefully," McLaughlin said.

Pick Six, Rogue Victory, and Ballast look to be the major threats to Justenuffhumor.

In the day's featured dirt race, Mucho Macho returns from a long layoff for trainer Jimmy Jerkens in a second-level allowance sprint. Mucho Macho has not run since finishing third over the inner track, a race from which he emerged with a quarter crack. He has finished first or second in all four of his sprints at Belmont. Rollers, winner of the $250,000 Gallant Bob at Philadelphia Park last fall, is the major threat but has lost his last six races.