Jim Hurley Curushes Lexington Stakes



LEXINGTON STAKES - Saturday 4/21
Keeneland - Race 9
#9 All Squared Away 50-1 WINS $143.20
#7 Castaway 3-1 Out
#6 Holiday Promise 6-1 Out

Here's what we said about the race BEFORE it went off:

NO...this is not in my mind, a stab for the sake of making a stab. I don't make the odds. But I do have unshakable respect for the attributes of trainer Wesley Ward who has taken over the training of this colt. The son of Bellamy Road has always been a solid worker in the A.M. but has had bizarre occurrences in his races. In the Spiral Stakes he was a well beaten 6th, but in that race made an unbelievably aggressive 6-7 wide move as though he were going to get involved but was spun out so wide he lost too much ground. Ward has worked him 6 furlongs in 1:13 1/5 over the surface(last Friday) and although this field is very deep and competitive, it is so because there are no absolute get-behind killers. Ward wins with 29% of runners that go for him the first time and given the solid work in an up-in-the-air race...how difficult is it to take a big price?



All Squared Away lights up Lexington toteboard

All Squared Away played "bombs away" in Saturday's $200,000 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, scoring as the 70-1 longest shot in the Grade 3 race. A former claimer making his first start for trainer Wesley Ward, the three-year-old gelding improved significantly upon a well-beaten sixth in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes to post his initial stakes victory, completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 3/5 on Polytrack.

The son of Bellamy Road paid $143.20 for the upset and was ridden by Julio Garcia, who had won only two-of-20 starts this year entering Saturday's program.

Owned by Altamira Racing Stable and Wire to Wire Racing, All Squared Away was forwardly-placed after breaking well from the starting gate, stalking Johannesbourbon, Castaway and Hammers Terror in fourth through the first turn and down the backstretch. Johannesbourbon and Castaway dueled through opening splits in :23 1/5 and :46 2/5, with Hammers Terror always racing within a length of the leaders, and All Squared Away was three lengths back after the opening half-mile.

All Squared Away began to inch closer as Castaway backed out on the far turn and launched his rally in earnest upon the conclusion of the far turn, closing determinedly in the short stretch to easily prove best by 1 1/2 lengths. Summer Front, the 2-1 favorite, rallied belatedly to be a non-threatening second, a neck better than the 18-1 Hammers Terror in third, and it was three-quarters of a length back to the late-running Gold Megillah in fourth.

The $2 exacta paid $842, the $2 trifecta was good for $7,998.60 and the $2 superfecta (9-2-8-11) yielded a whopping $95,199l.

"My idea was to go very close to the pace," Garcia said of his trip. "I rode this horse in the morning, and I knew he was going to run a good race today."
The jockey rode his mount out nearly an extra sixteenth of a mile toward the second finish line at Keeneland.

"I got confused a little bit: I didn't know which wire (finish line), the first or the second," Garcia said. "So after the wire Johnny V (Velazquez, on Gold Megillah) told me, 'Julio, the first wire!' Like, I know, it's OK. I win anyway."

Golden Ticket, Holiday Promise, Johannesbourbon, Skyring, Castaway, News Pending and Morgan's Guerrilla completed the order of finish.

Bred in Kentucky by Gracefield Breeders, All Squared Away is the only registered foal out of the unraced Posse mare Squared. The broodmare counts stakes winner Plumlake Lady as a half-sister and this is the female family of Grade 1 winner Bachelor Beau and Grade 2 queen Seeking Regina.

All Squared Away did not attract much interest as a youngster, commanding $3,000 as a 2009 Keeneland November weanling before selling for only $1,000 as a yearling at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. He made his first eight career starts for Peter Miller and after competing for a $30,000 maiden tag at Hollywood Park, captured a maiden special weight at Golden Gate Fields. All Squared Away sandwiched a runner-up finish in a March 15 starter allowance event at Santa Anita between unplaced efforts in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby and the March 24 Spiral at Turfway Park.

"Pete (Miller, co-owner and former trainer) called me right after the race (Grade 3 Vinery Racing Spiral at Turfway Park) and asked me if I'd take the horse," Ward explained when asked how he got the horse. "He said, 'Just train him however you want.' Since the horse got here -- as most (horses) do when they come to Keeneland -- the horse just flourished. He just put a lot of weight on. He's eaten the bottom out of the feed tub. When we worked him, the last couple of works have just been outstanding. He's just thriving, being here."

With Saturday's $120,000 payday, the dark bay gelding nearly tripled his lifetime earnings to $164,180 from a 9-2-2-2 record.

The Lumber Guy returns to winner's circle in Jerome

Barry K. Schwartz's The Lumber Guy suffered his first loss on April 7 when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct, but returned Saturday off the two-week break and cut back to eight furlongs at the Big A to capture the Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths over a tenacious Brigand.

Trained by Mike Hushion and ridden by Mike Luzzi, The Lumber Guy was sent off the 2-1 second choice to return $6.50, $4.10 and $2.50 for his first graded score. The gray colt finished fifth in the Wood Memorial but earned his first black-type win in his initial try in the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel Park back in February.

"Usually I get cold feet as it gets closer to the race, but I really didn't with him," Hushion said. "Every morning I came in, his hay rack was empty and he's standing in front of the stall, bright. When you have a big, strong horse with a lot of talent I think they can make you do a lot of things, and you still look like you know what you are doing.

"His gallop out looked good to me -- from what I saw quickly -- so I don't know about distance limitations. I guess that 36 flat (1:36.04) is going to come up a nice time. Getting to the two-turn thing is a bridge we're going to have to cross sometime pretty soon. Today, he showed what we were hoping he would show. When he got his head, in front his stride just opened up. His stride looked awfully good down the backside. He's a nice, big mover. Mike did a nice job nursing his speed. Really good job."

On Saturday, the sophomore son of Grand Slam went after Brigand when that one headed to the front out of the gate. The Lumber Guy inched clear on the inside to have a half-length to spare on his rival through the swift opening quarter in :22 4/5. The colt continued to lead down the backstretch with Brigand keeping in close attendance through splits of :45 4/5 and 1:10, while Term Loan moved up nearing the turn to attempt a challenge on the outside.

Brigand swung wide entering the lane but still put in his bid to run down the pacesetter but The Lumber Guy would not let his rival by. The Flatter colt eventually fell back as The Lumber Guy continued his momentum all the way to the wire, completing the fast-track, one-turn mile in 1:36.

"That was cool," Luzzi stated. "Not knowing the horse and just going by what Michael had said, he's real fast.

"I didn't want to warm him up too much to where he was too speedy. He left clean, he was in my hands. It felt slower than it was, honestly. It wasn't out-of-control speed. He's just a talented horse. I know the fractions might have said differently, but to me it felt like we went slower and it felt like I still had a lot left (in the stretch). He galloped out good, too."

The Jerome finishing order followed the saddlecloth numbers as Brigand was second, three lengths in front of Stirred Up. Dan and Shelia followed in fourth, with Adirondack King and Term Loan bringing up the rear. The only disruption in the 1-2-3-4-6-7 finishing order was Right to Vote, who scratched after drawing the 5 post.

The Lumber Guy scored his biggest win to date in the Jerome and more than doubled his earnings to $225,000 to go along with his 4-3-0-0 career line. After breaking his maiden debut at Laurel by 9 1/4 lengths on January 28, the gray posted a 4 1/4-length triumph in the Miracle Wood. His loss in the Wood Memorial is the only blemish on his record.

Bred in New York by Stonewall Farm, The Lumber Guy is out of the unraced Unbridled's Song mare Boltono, making him a half-brother to stakes winners Magical Solution and Bold Deed. Boltono is herself a daughter of multiple Grade 3-placed stakes queen Buckaroo Zoo.

The Lumber Guy's fourth dam is the multiple stakes-scoring Big Spruce mare Joy Returned, who is most noted for producing multiple Grade 3-winning sire Stalwars, Group 2-placed multiple stakes victor Joy of Glory and the dam of Group 3 star Tough Speed.

From Brisnet.com


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