01/16/2013 3:19PM

Santa Anita: The Lumber Guy will miss Palos Verdes with quarter crack

Barbara D. Livingston
Because of a minor injury, The Lumber Guy will be redirected to the San Carlos Stakes on Feb. 26.

A quarter crack will keep The Lumber Guy from starting in Saturday’s $150,000 Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita.

Trainer Neil Drysdale said on Wednesday that The Lumber Guy was not entered in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes over six furlongs.

Owned by Barry Schwartz, The Lumber Guy has won 4 of 8 starts and $736,050. He was second in the BC Sprint here on Nov. 3, but was seventh as the 4-5 favorite in the Malibu Stakes here on Dec. 26.

“He came up with a quarter crack after the Malibu,” Drysdale said. “We’re being very conservative.”

Drysdale said that The Lumber Guy will be pointed to the $200,000 San Carlos Stakes over seven furlongs on Feb. 26.

When entries were taken on Wednesday for the Palos Verdes, trainer Bob Baffert supplemented Drill, who was fourth in the Malibu. In 2012, Drill won two seven-furlong sprints – the Grade 2 San Vicente in February and the Grade 3 Laz Barrera Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park in May.

Other top contenders for the Palos Verdes are The Private Zone, who was second in the Malibu; Justin Phillip, who was fifth in the BC Sprint; and Comma to the Top, who won the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes here on a wet-fast track on Dec. 29.

Footbridge tries to clear maiden condition

Footbridge has turned out to be a quick learner since he joined trainer Eoin Harty’s stable last fall.

“He came in late in the year and he’s taken to the work and the racing since then,” Harty said. “He does everything so easily. He goes from strength to strength.”

Harty could have an even higher impression of Footbridge, if the 3-year-old can win a maiden special weight race over a mile in Friday’s fourth race. A win could lead to a start in a stakes in coming months.

Footbridge is owned by breeder Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable. In his career debut over 6 1/2 furlongs on Dec. 26, Footbridge closed from ninth in a field of 11 to finish third to the promising Belvin.

Footbridge was beaten 5 1/2 lengths, but ran well enough through the stretch to leave Harty optimistic about the longer distance.

“He’s by Street Cry out of a Dubai Millennium mare,” Harty said. “I’ve got no doubts about his ability to stretch out. My only reservation is that I’ve thrown a lot at him in a short period of time.”

Footbridge will be ridden by Garrett Gomez. The maiden race drew 11 entrants, but only 10 will start. Other prominent runners are Forest Boy, second to Belvin on Dec. 26; and Curly Top, second in a productive maiden race at Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 13.

Forest Boy is winless in five starts, including a ninth in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf at Del Mar last September.

“The turf race is a throwout,” trainer John Sadler said. “He couldn’t stand it.”

Forest Boy was fourth behind Curly Top in a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park, but was beaten only a length by Belvin on Dec. 26.

“We think he’ll like” the longer distance, Sadler said. “We think he likes real dirt.”

Curly Top, trained by Baffert, was second in his first two starts. He was beaten 5 1/4 lengths by stablemate Manando on Dec. 13. Persuasive Paul was third in that race and returned to win a maiden race on Jan. 12.