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The Lumber Guy Tackles Nine Opponents in Malibu Stakes

The Lumber Guy
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
Santa Anita’s traditional opening day headliner, the Grade I, $300,000 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, attracted a field of nine and will likely be headed by The Lumber Guy, who comes off a huge second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at The Great Race Place on Nov. 3. The Kentucky-bred colt by Grand Slam had been trained by New York-based Mike Hushion, but will make his first start for trainer Neil Drysdale in the Malibu.

Owned by Barry Schwartz, The Lumber Guy has been stabled at Betfair Hollywood Park since the Breeders’ Cup and has four works to his credit, including a six furlong drill on Dec. 14, in 1:14.20.

A winner of the Grade I Vosburgh at Belmont Park on Sept. 29, The Lumber Guy has shown good speed both sprinting and routing and is drawn well in post four. He is a perfect one-for-one at seven furlongs and has a career mark of 7-4-1-0, with earnings of $735,800.

While Drysdale is no doubt pleased with his post position, trainer Bob Baffert, who will saddle a total of four horses in the Malibu, is likely less than happy with Fed Biz’s rail draw. The ultra-talented son of Giant’s Causeway was never a factor in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 3, finishing eighth in a nine-horse field.

Regarded by many as Baffert’s top Kentucky Derby prospect last winter, Fed Biz went to the sidelines after winning a first-condition allowance at Santa Anita on Feb. 9, and resurfaced at Del Mar on Aug. 31, winning the El Cajon Stakes under Joe Talamo by a neck. He was subsequently third in the Grade II Indiana Derby on Oct. 6 with Rafael Bejarano.

Ridden by Talamo in the Dirt Mile, he will be handled for the first time in the Malibu by Mike Smith. Fed Biz also drew the rail in his only sprint try, his debut on Nov. 11, 2011, and rallied from off the pace to finish fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths going six furlongs. As an indication of his readiness, Fed Biz worked five furlongs in a rapid 58 flat on Friday at Santa Anita. Owned by Kaleem Shah Inc., his record stands at 6-3-0-1, with earnings of $184,206.

In addition to Fed Biz, Baffert will also send out Drill, Castaway and Guilt Trip. Idle since winning the Grade III Lazaro Barrera Stakes on May 12, Drill has a solid resume that includes victories in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and the seven furlong, Grade II San Vicente, run on Feb. 12 at Santa Anita. He is undefeated in three starts at seven furlongs. Owned by Pegram, Watson or Weitman, the Kentucky-bred colt by Lawyer Ron has earnings of $419,710, from an overall record of 11-4-2-0. Drill was impressive from the gate on Friday at Santa Anita, working a bullet six furlongs in 1:10.20, handily.

Castaway, a son of Street Sense, also enters the Malibu fresh, as he’s been away since running a troubled ninth in the Grade III Lexington Stakes on April 21 at Keeneland. A winner of the Grade III, one-mile Southwest Stakes on Feb. 20 at Oaklawn Park, Castaway has a mark of 9-2-1-2, with earnings of $222,597. He is owned by Mrs. John Magnier and Smith.

Guilt Trip is the least accomplished of the Baffert foursome, as the son of Pulpit has two lifetime wins at Belmont Park to his credit; a maiden score on Sept. 26, and an allowance victory on Oct. 27. He is owned by Gary and Mary West.

Although he was well beaten in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 3, trainer Richard Mandella has high hopes for Jimmy Creed, a son of Distorted Humor who was third, beaten three quarters of a length, in the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 6.

A close third in the El Cajon at Del Mar, Jimmy Creed has trained forwardly since the Breeders’ Cup and drilled seven furlongs in company on Wednesday at Santa Anita in 1:24.80. Private clocker Toby Turrell rated the move “brilliant.” Owned by Spendthrift Farm, Jimmy Creed drew post position two and figures to be sent from the gate. His record stands at 6-2-2-1, with earnings of $133,000.

A winner of the downhill turf Grade III Eddie D Stakes on Sept. 28, Unbridled’s Note was subsequently second coming down the hillside in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 3. Trained by Steve Asmussen and owned by Mike McCarty, the Kentucky-bred by Unbridled’s Song has solid dirt credentials, as he was a close third in both the Grade III Amsterdam and King’s Bishop Stakes on July 29 and Aug. 25 at Saratoga.

He’ll break from the outside post in the Malibu and has earnings of $375,741 from a record of 7-4-1-0.

Trainer Wesley Ward will saddle the well-traveled Politicallycorrect, who comes off sharp seven furlong win in the Damascus Stakes at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. The Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred son of Kitten’s Joy has made nine starts at eight different tracks this year: Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Belmont Park, Thistledown, Saratoga, Remington Park and Santa Anita.

Politicallycorrect has two wins and a second from three tries at seven furlongs. His overall mark is 13-4-3-2, with earnings of $411,375.

This year’s Kentucky Derby-winning owner, trainer and jockey; Zillah Reddam, Doug O’Neill and Mario Gutierrez, will team up with Malibu longshot Basmati, an impressive allowance winner going seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. Second in the Grade III, $1 million Delta Jackpot as a 2-year-old, the Kentucky-bred colt by Borrego is 9-2-3-1 overall, with earnings of $320,800.

The complete field for the Malibu, which will be run as the eighth race on a nine-race program, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Fed Biz, Mike Smith, 118; Jimmy Creed, Garrett Gomez, 118; Drill, Martin Garcia, 118; The Lumber Guy, John Velazquez, 123; Politicallycorrect, Joel Rosario, 118; Basmati, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Castaway, Joe Talamo, 118; Private Zone, Martin Pedroza, 120; Guilt Trip, Rafael Bejarano, 118, and Unbridled’s Note, Corey Nakatani, 118.

 

 

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