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The Lumber Guy takes top New York-bred honors
The Lumber Guy and his connections claimed six awards, including the evening’s most coveted trophy, as the New York Thoroughbred Breeders honored its standout performers of 2012.
The Lumber Guy was named New York-bred Horse of the Year as well as champion 3-year-old male and champion male sprinter at the organization’s annual awards banquet in Saratoga Springs last Monday. The colt races as a homebred for Barry K. Schwartz, whose Stonewall Farm was honored as the state’s outstanding breeder. The Lumber Guy’s dam, Boltono, was named Broodmare of the Year.
The Lumber Guy won three stakes in 2012 under the care of Mike Hushion, who was named the state’s top trainer.
The Lumber Guy, whose signature victory came in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational at Belmont, was one of five New York-breds to win Grade 1 events in 2012, joining fellow statebred champions Dayatthespa and Unbridled Command, along with Willy Beamin and Next Question.
“In 2012, New York-breds enjoyed unprecedented success on the racetrack,” NYTB Executive Director Jeffrey Cannizzo said. “Five different New York-breds, including four 3-year-olds, won Grade 1 races at five different racetracks. Once again, we have proof that a strong regional program has a place for top-quality breeding.”
Unraced as a juvenile, The Lumber Guy won his career debut at Aqueduct in January 2012, then captured the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel. Stepping up to face graded-stakes company that spring, the son of Grand Slam finished unplaced in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial and Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes but won the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct.
Following a summer break, The Lumber Guy won the Vosburgh in his first start against older horses, defeating a field that included Grade 1 winners Poseidon’s Warrior and Sean Avery. It was the first Grade 1 victory for Hushion and the first since 1999 for Schwartz. In the colt’s next start, he finished second, beaten less than a length, by eventual Eclipse Award winner Trinniberg in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park.
The Lumber Guy remained in California for a winter campaign under the care of Neil Drysdale, where he was unplaced in two graded stakes. He returned to Hushion’s care and is being freshened for a summer campaign.
“He’s done well off the little turn-out time before,” Hushion told Daily Racing Form in early April. “In his 3-year-old year, he came out of there running.”
Schwartz, a former chief executive and board member for the New York Racing Association and a member of The Jockey Club, breeds horses in the name of his Stonewall Farm in Granite Springs, N.Y.
Other top runners bred by the operation over the years include Grade 2 winner and New York-bred champion Lovely Lil and, in partnership, Grade 2 winner Turnofthecentury. Both were campaigned by Schwartz. Stonewall also bred Grade 1 winner Dr. Root, Grade 3 winner Seeking the Sky, and multiple stakes winner Beru. Schwartz also purchased and raced the Grade 1-winning filly Three Ring.
Schwartz purchased The Lumber Guy’s dam, the unraced Unbridled’s Song mare Boltono, for $77,000 at the 2003 Keeneland November breeding-stock sale. The Lumber Guy was the fifth and final foal out of the mare, who died a day after his birth in April 2010; the colt was raised on a nurse mare. Boltono’s four starters are all winners, including stakes winners Bold Deed and Magical Solution.
Out of the stakes-winning Buckaroo mare Buckaroo Zoo, Boltono was a half-sister to stakes winner Kudu. It is the family of multiple Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed Stalwars, as well as Joy of Glory, a stakes winner in both France and the United States.
Dayatthespa joined The Lumber Guy as the only multiple divisional champion, taking home awards as outstanding New York-bred 3-year-old filly and turf female.
The City Zip filly, bred by Castellare DiCracchiolo Stable and Scott Goldsher and campaigned by Bradley Thoroughbreds, Jerry Frankel, Ron Frankel, and Steve Laymon, won five of her six starts in 2012, including four graded stakes.
Trained by Chad Brown, Dayatthespa took the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant Stakes and the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes, both at Gulfstream Park, the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland, and the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga. She returned to Keeneland last fall to score her first Grade 1 victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
However, the filly suffered a cut to a tendon while finishing fifth with a rough trip as the favorite in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, derailing her campaign. She is in training for a comeback.
“It’s exceptional just to be around a horse like her,” said Peter Bradley of Bradley Thoroughbreds. “It’s phenomenal. You just don’t often get to be around true champions, and she is one. She’s as good a horse as I’ve ever been around.”
Dayatthespa is one of three winners from four starters out of the Doc’s Leader mare M’Lady Doc. The mare is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Phi Beta Doc, stakes winner Queen Mary’s Boy, and the stakes-placed Queen Ginni. It is the family of Arkansas Derby and Louisiana Derby winner Clev Er Tell and Grade 2 winner Tricky Code, the dam of Japanese champion and young sire Hat Trick.
Grade 1 winner Unbridled Command was honored as champion New York-bred turf male. The Master Command colt, bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Lewis Lakin, won five straight races last season, capped by the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. The colt also took the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes and the McMahon of Saratoga Mohawk Stakes.
Among the most productive New York-breds to race in 2012 was champion older male Saginaw, who won 10 of 14 starts for more than $500,000. The gelded son of Peruvian, bred by Ted Taylor, began his season in a claiming race but went on to win stakes at all three NYRA tracks, taking the Carr Heaven Stakes, Affirmed Success Stakes, and Promenade All Stakes at Belmont; the John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga; and the Fourstars Allstar Stakes and Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct.
Also honored at the awards ceremony was young sire Frost Giant, who established a record for progeny earnings by a New York-based freshman sire. The Giant’s Causeway horse, who stands at Keane Stud in Amenia, N.Y., led the state by freshman and juvenile earnings as well as by juvenile average earnings per runner. Despite being represented by just 15 runners, he still finished sixth on the North American freshman sire list with more than $800,000 in progeny earnings.
From his first crop, Frost Giant – himself a winner of the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap – was represented by multiple stakes winner Kelli Got Frosty, who was honored as champion New York-bred juvenile filly, and stakes winner West Hills Giant. The latter, along with Giant Finish, is Grade 3-placed on the Kentucky Derby trail this season.
Other awards went to multiple stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Hessonite as champion older female, Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed Agave Kiss as champion female sprinter, stakes winner and Grade 2-placed Weekend Hideaway as champion juvenile male, Saratoga stakes winner Cat Feathers as champion steeplechase horse, and Ramon Dominguez as outstanding jockey.
2012 New York champions
2-Year-Old Filly: Kelly Got Frosty
2-Year-Old Male: Weekend Hideaway
3-Year-Old Filly: Dayatthespa
3-Year-Old Male: The Lumber Guy
Turf Female: Dayatthespa
Turf Male: Unbridled Command
Female Sprinter: Agave Kiss
Male Sprinter: The Lumber Guy
Older Female: Hessonite
Older Male: Saginaw
Steeplechase Horse: Cat Feathers
Horse of the Year: The Lumber Guy
New York Broodmare of the Year: Boltono
Leading 2012 New York Freshman Sire: Frost Giant
New York-Bred Trainer of the Year: Mike Hushion
New York-Bred Jockey of the Year: Ramon Dominguez
New York Breeder of the Year: Stonewall Farm / Barry K. Schwartz