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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

The Lumber Guy Headed to Jerome

Trainer Michael Hushion
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
The Lumber Guy, who suffered his first defeat when fifth in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial on April 7, will look to regain the winning thread in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Jerome will require a two-week turnaround for The Lumber Guy, who will be cutting back from 1 1/8 miles to one mile. In the Wood Memorial, the 3-year-old Grand Slam colt was forced out at the start, recovered to seize a clear lead, and led to the quarter pole before giving way, reporting home 6 ¼ lengths behind winner Gemologist.

"It's back quicker than I'd like, but I'm anxious to run him in a one-turn mile," said Michael Hushion, who trains The Lumber Guy for Barry Schwartz. "I think that's the key, a one-turn mile. A rider can just come out there real quietly, wherever he wants to take him, and make them sort it out for a half mile down the backside."

Even though Hushion is eager to have The Lumber Guy, who won Laurel Park's seven-furlong Miracle Wood in February, cut back in distance, the trainer has not eliminated the possibility of stretching him out again later in his career.

"I'm still figuring out what his best distance is," said Hushion. "Physically, he'd definitely go long, but mentally he's not ready to go long. Hopefully he'll start to get the idea and not get panicky once he gets set off a little bit."

In addition The Lumber Guy, the Jerome is expected to attract Adirondack King, Dan and Sheila, Guyana Star Dweej, and Right to Vote, according to Andrew Byrnes, NYRA's stakes coordinator. Sensor is possible.

Hushion reported Gem, Inc.'s Nicole H, fourth in yesterday's Distaff Handicap, came out of the race in good shape.

"I thought her race was a little bit better after I watched it today," said Hushion. "At least she was in front at the eighth pole through three quarters in 1:09. It speaks something, anyway. It wasn't a terrible effort under the circumstances."


 

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