04/16/2012 6:08PM

Aqueduct: The Lumber Guy going to Jerome

Tom Keyser
The Lumber Guy and rider Cornelio Velasquez could manage only fifth in the Wood Memorial.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Lumber Guy couldn’t hack it in the nine-furlong Wood Memorial on April 7, finishing fifth, beaten 6 1/4 lengths by Gemologist. Perhaps he will find cutting back to a one-turn mile more to his liking when he wheels back in two weeks to run in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome Stakes.

While trainer Mike Hushion said the timing of the race isn’t ideal, the dimensions of the race are.

“I think the distance and it being one turn at this point and it being an important race,” Hushion said of the reasons for running back. “Under other circumstances we would like to have another week. It’s either that or train him for another six weeks.”

Though the Derby Trial, a one-turn mile at Churchill on April 28, would give The Lumber Guy another week, Hushion said he preferred not to ship.

The Lumber Guy set the pace in the Wood before giving way in the stretch.

“I think in hindsight getting beat 6 1/2 lengths under those conditions, being green like we were afraid of, being a race away from being ready for a mile and an eighth like we were afraid of, there’s nothing wrong with the race,” Hushion said. “I still believe he’s a good horse. I like the way he’s acting. He shows all the signs you want to see. He’s nice and bright, in front of the stall, his hay rack’s empty.”

[JEROME STAKES: Download PPs for the full Saturday Aqueduct race card]