03/21/2010 11:00PM

Hushion kept his fingers crossed


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Getting Wednesday's $53,000 allowance feature to fill for his stakes-winning New York-bred Fiddlers Afleet figured to be the only real obstacle trainer Mike Hushion faced in hopes of getting an all-important prep into his horse for the $1 million Charles Town Classic on April 17.

He didn't count on the quarantine imposed last Saturday on horses shipping into Gulfstream Park from neighboring Calder Race Course putting the race in jeopardy. Fortunately, the quarantine was liftted Monday evening, and Fiddlers Afleet will get his race.

Fiddlers Afleet, who has not started since winning the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on Oct. 11, should be heavily favored to capture his 2010 debut in the one-mile high-priced optional claimer.

"We've talked about the race at Charles Town in three weeks. It's kind of ambitious, but that's where we're looking," said Hushion.

Fiddlers Afleet was a promising 2-year-old but really flourished during the latter part of his 3-year-old campaign, concluding the season with three straight victories that included a game neck triumph against New York-breds in the Albany and a half-length decision over Massone in the

1 1/8-mile Oklahoma Derby.

"I thought it was a good time to give him a rest after the race at Remington. He ran really hard, and the trip to Oklahoma was a tough ship," said Hushion. "He's trained very well for his return, and I see no reason why he shouldn't be able to win this race despite the layoff. I believe he's fit enough."

Of the six horses in the field, only Our Edge and Fiddlers Afleet are not stabled at Calder. Our Edge is trying to recapture the form that saw him post three consecutive victories at 3, including a seven-length tour de force in the Grade 3 Barbaro at Delaware Park on July 19. He has been winless in four subsequent starts, including a pair of similarly conditioned allowance races here earlier this winter.

Caixa Eletronica and Dream Maestro top the Calder contingent that also includes Deputy Glitters and Colonial Causeway.