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Oct 16, 2009

Square Eddie makes return to the races



Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - One-time Kentucky Derby contender Square Eddie made his return to the races on Sunday in the Ancient Title Stakes at Santa Anita Park. It was the three-year-old colt's first start since April.

Second in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Square Eddie finished sixth in the six-furlong sprint. The colt broke from the far outside post in the 10 horse field with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.

"He needed the race, and it's definitely something to build on," said Dennis O'Neill, assistant to his brother Doug. "We'll see where we're at and go from there."

After finishing third in the Lexington Stakes as the favorite, Square Eddie was held out of the Triple Crown series with shin problems.

The chestnut colt was second to The Pamplemousse in the San Rafael Stakes in January but was given time off to recover from the sore shin. The Pamplemousse has also been sidelined with an injury.

Square Eddie has nine starts in his career, posting two victories, three seconds and two thirds for $817,366.

Stablemate Lava Man continues to train for his comeback to the races. Trainer Doug O'Neill had the gelding work four-furlongs Sunday at Hollywood Park. He covered the half-mile in 48 4/5-seconds.

"He was breezing, and galloped out in a minute and change," said Dennis O'Neill. "He couldn't be doing any better. He came out of it really good. He's very sound, his feet are doing great and his ankles are tight and sound, so it's kind of scary. He's like a little two-year-old now."

Lava Man earned more than $5.2 million in his racing career. His first official workout came on Wednesday, September 23 at Hollywood Park. He went three furlongs in 36-seconds on Hollywood Park's synthetic surface.

O'Neill trains Lava Man for owners STD Racing Stable and Jason Wood. The gelding became the first horse to sweep southern California's three major handicap races in the same year. In 2006 he won the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic.

Lava Man captured the Hollywood Gold Cup three straight years beginning in 2005 and won the Santa Anita Handicap in 2006 and 2007. His last race was last year's Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar when he finished sixth.

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