The Lumber Guy Stands Tall In G1 Vosburgh
By Jenny Kellner | 09/29/2012 06:08 PM ET
The Lumber Guy
The Lumber Guy cut down a field of older sprinters in the stretch and held off a fast-closing Caixa Eletronica to win the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh Invitational on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park and earn a trip to the Breeders’ Cup.
One of two 3-year-olds among the nine Vosburgh starters, The Lumber Guy was off alertly and settled in just behind pacesetters Poseidon’s Warrior and Little Drama as they barreled through opening fractions of 22.57 and 45.06 seconds. Launching his bid approaching the quarter pole, The Lumber Guy grabbed the lead with a sixteenth of a mile to go and hit the wire 1 ¼ lengths clear of Caixa Eletronica.
“It was pretty simple,” said Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. “Mike [Hushion] told me, ‘He’s quick, make sure you get him out of there running, and if he’s taking you, leave him alone.’ He thought he was going to finish for me, and he did.”
The Lumber Guy’s winning time was 1:09.22 in the “Win and You’re In” race for the November 3 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park, although owner Barry Schwartz indicated the Dirt Mile was also an option.
“This is always a good time of year for 3-year-olds,” said Hushion. “They’ve gone through that maturing. I like 3-year-olds vs. older horses this time of year. I’ve been telling Barry for the past five weeks that he’s been working like the real deal. We know he’s got a good mile in him from the Jerome. Time will tell. I don’t think we’ll be doing any jumping to a mile and an eighth from here.”
The Lumber Guy, who was making his first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan on May 12, returned $6.20 as part of the favored 2-1 entry with 6-year-old Sean Avery, winner of the 2011 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga Race Course.
Bred in New York by Schwartz, the gray Grand Slam colt has four wins in six career starts, all this year, including the Grade 2 Jerome in April at Aqueduct Racetrack. With the winner’ purse of $240,000, The Lumber Guy more than doubled his earnings to $465,800.
“We really felt going in that we were going to win today,” said Schwartz. “I just joked, ‘The only bad thing is that we’re not going to get 10, 12-1 on him.’ He had a month off on my farm after the Peter Pan because he was knocked out. Mike really took it easy getting him back, and he’s just come back better than ever.”
Caixa Eletronica, at 7 the oldest horse in the race, was 1 ¾ lengths clear of third-place finisher Poseidon’s Warrior.
“I love the horse,” said Javier Castellano, aboard the runner-up. “He’s always honest, always tries hard. He’s a pro. Every time he puts in a great effort.”
Completing the order of finish were Little Drama, Sean Avery, Justin Phillip, Fort Loudon, Zero Rate Policy, and Rothko. Little Currier was scratched at the gate.