|THE LUMBER GUY (NYRA via The Paulick Report)|
While the first option remains on track, Stirred Up will have to seek another path to stardom after The Lumber Guy beat Brigand by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday in the $200,000 Jerome Stakes Gr.2 at Aqueduct. The favored Stirred Up rallied late to get third.
The Lumber Guy (Grand Slam-Boltono, by Unbridled's Song) and Mike Luzzi broke alertly and was sent to the front where they were joined by Brigand. Those two set a swift pace on the front end as they opened up a four-length lead on the rest of the field. Term Loan tracked them in third, as the favorite, Virginia-bred Stirred Up, raced along in last early.
The Lumber Guy and Brigand continued to duel as they entered the far turn as the rest of the field began to cut into their lead. At the top of the stretch, Luzzi went to work aboard The Lumber Guy and the grey colt responded, eventually putting Brigand away in deep stretch and pulling away to win convincingly.
Stirred Up was literally a Derby longshot and was a more likely Preakness candidate, but it’s fun to speculate, and it’s nice to see two Virginia-breds contending on the road to the Triple Crown.