Updated on 09/17/2011 8:35PM

Bushwacker tuning up for Millions


ARCADIA, Calif. - Bushwacker's attempt to play the spoiler in the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity last month did not last into the stretch. His saddle slipped on the backstretch and jockey Rene Douglas pulled him up on the last turn.

Sunday, Bushwacker will have the role of the top contender when he faces a much easier field in the $100,000 San Miguel Stakes over six furlongs at Santa Anita.

Bushwacker has proven to be effective in sprints. Owner-trainer Bill Currin is using the San Miguel as a prep to the $250,000 Dash for California-breds and Florida-breds over six furlongs at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29.

Currin is throwing out the mishap in the Futurity.

"He's had a strong workout subsequent to that," he said. "He should be ready to roll."

Bushwacker has shown speed in all three of his starts. He began his career with a win in a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf on Nov. 6, and returned two weeks later to finish second to Declan's Moon in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs.

Declan's Moon subsequently won the Hollywood Futurity and is a finalist for the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding 2-year-old male of 2004.

Bushwacker drew post 2 and may be joined on the front by Fallfree and So Long Birdie.

Fallfree is making the 10th start of his career. He has placed in four stakes.

So Long Birdie, a half-brother to top 2004 3-year-old Birdstone, was claimed last May for $40,000. Trained by Craig Dollase, he returned to win a maiden race by 11 lengths over 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt at Hollywood Park on Dec. 19.

Currin would prefer that Bushwacker not lead, but is concerned that circumstances of the race will dictate that Douglas keep him close.

"I would like to be off of it," Currin said. "I think with the racetrack we have here we need to be up there. This horse has a ton of speed, and we will let him use it if we need to."

General John B and Seize the Day both seem best as stalkers.

General John B won 2 of 3 starts at Calder before he was sent to trainer Roger Stein.

Seize the Day was third in the Prevue Stakes. He was a disappointing fifth as the 1-5 favorite in the Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 18.