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The Lumber Guy looking to rebound in San Carlos

Vosburgh winner The Lumber Guy hopes the third time at Santa Anita will be the charm (Adam Coglianese)

The three-quarters of a length that separated The Lumber Guy from Trinniberg in last November's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint was not only disappointing in its own right, but likely cost the Grand Slam colt an Eclipse Award as champion male sprinter.

The New York-bred gray, who notched the Grade 1 Vosburgh and Grade 2 Jerome last season, will again aim for the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, and his first race of the year will be the Grade 2, $200,000 San Carlos at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Kept in California under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale following the Breeders' Cup, The Lumber Guy ended 2012 on a sour note when a tiring seventh as the 4-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Malibu on December 26. After missing an intended start in last month's Grade 2 Palos Verdes with a bruised foot, The Lumber Guy seemingly registered his recovery with a bullet five-furlong work in :58 2/5 at Santa Anita last Sunday.

The early pace of the seven-furlong San Carlos is likely to be set by Grade 1 veteran Comma to the Top, who led throughout in taking the off-the-turf Grade 3 Daytona over 6 1/2 furlongs in late December. The five-year-old gelding couldn't quite replicate that feat in the January 19 Palos Verdes, retreating to fourth after setting a pressured pace.

Also exiting the six-furlong Palos Verdes is that race's 21-1 upset winner, Sahara Sky, and third-place finisher Justin Phillip. The beneficiary of a complete pace meltdown, the previously allowance-class Sahara Sky was making only his second appearance in stakes company. Justin Philip, the slight 5-2 favorite in the Palos Verdes, flattened out late after making a stretch bid. The five-year-old is winless in stakes company since the 2011 Grade 2 Woody Stephens.

Bob Baffert will saddle Grade 2 winners Capital Account and Drill. The former fell far behind in the Daytona last time and made up only a modest amount of ground to be fourth, while Drill was unplaced in both the Malibu and Palos Verdes in his two starts since returning from an extended layoff.

Stakes veteran Midnight Transfer might be one of the San Carlos favorites after a sharp allowance tally January 12 following a nine-month layoff. The San Carlos field is completed by Canonize, most recently fifth in the Palos Verdes.

The supporting feature on Saturday is the $75,000 Joe Hernandez Handicap, an about 6 1/2-furlong turf dash for older horses. Unbridled's Note, who captured the course-and-distance Grade 3 Eddie D in his turf debut in September, subsequently placed in both the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and Malibu and will be a heavy favorite against six rivals.

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