Hushion Undecided on The Lumber Guy's Target
Photo: Coglianese Photos
The Lumber Guy

Trainer Mike Hushion says Vosburgh Invitational (gr. I) winner The Lumber Guy   is headed for the Breeders' Cup Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park, but he and owner Barry Schwartz aren't sure which race.

The Vosburgh victory secured an automatic starting slot in the $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), but Hushion said the $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) is also under consideration.

"We talked about (the races) again; we're going to keep talking," Hushion said Sept. 30. "One consideration is that the (Dirt Mile) is two turns out there, which I'd like him to do, but I'd like him to do what he's already proved he can do around one turn this time. So, we'll see. We'll see what the competition looks like."

Hushion's only previous Breeders’ Cup starter, Noteasybeingreen, finished 10th in the Juvenile (gr. I) in 1998 at Churchill Downs.

The Lumber Guy came out of his 1 1/4-length victory over a track labeled good in good shape.

"I'm exhausted," said Hushion. "He came back fine."

The toll on Hushion may have been emotional. Although he had been confident in his colt leading up to Saturday's six-furlong race, he was feeling jittery by the time the horse got to the paddock.

"Typically of me, and I think I'm not the only one, the last couple of days I tend to get cold feet," Hushion said. "By the time I'm putting the saddle on, they can't win. I think I learned that from (Allen) Jerkens, actually. I was a little concerned about the track because when Johnny (Velazquez) came out he said it seems like the horses love it or hate it and that wasn't what I wanted to hear."

But The Lumber Guy handled the track fine as he defeated eight others. One of only two 3-year-olds in the field, The Lumber Guy beat an accomplished group including grade I winners Sean Avery - with whom he was coupled in the wagering - and Poseidon's Warrior  . For Hushion, the turning point in his attitude about the Vosburgh was easy to pinpoint.

"Just before they came around the bend turning for home, when he loomed up there I said, 'Well, this is going to be the telling time,'" the trainer said. "Then I got blocked a second, for about four jumps, and then I saw he was in front and I felt pretty good. It didn't look like anything could get to him."

Hushion said he plans to take The Lumber Guy to Southern California the week before the race.

"My best guess would be I'd go five to six days before," he said. "I'm not interested in going out there for a couple weeks. We'll let him gallop over the track."

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