Feb 04, 2011
Square Eddie getting back into stakes competition
By: SPORTS NETWORK
Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - More than a year from his last start in a stakes race, 2009 Kentucky Derby contender Square Eddie will enter the starting gate for Saturday's Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park. The 1 1/8-mile event will be his second race of the year after having to sit out all of 2010.
Owned by J. Paul Reddam, Square Eddie came to the races on January 14 with a fantastic victory in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race at Santa Anita Park. The five-year-old set a new track record of 1:13.11 for the distance at the southern California track.
"He came out fantastic, legs ice cold, jogging sound at the shed row and ate up everything," said trainer Doug O'Neill. "We really worked him strong in the mornings. In my mind, it wasn't really his first race back off a layoff. It was more like his third, because a couple of the works were race-like works."
Square Eddie has won three of 13 career starts for $854,766. As a two-year-old in 2008 he was second to Midshipman in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
The chestnut horse began his three-year-old campaign with a second-place finish in the San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita and a third in the Lexington at Keeneland.
An injury kept him from the races until October, 2009, when he finished off the board in the Ancient Title during the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita. Three more disappointing starts closed Square Eddie's three-year-old season.
"He had a high suspensory strain," noted O'Neill. "Corey Nakatani will be coming to ride him (on Saturday). He had some very good race-like works going into the comeback race and worked a solid three-quarters eight days after that. He's doing great and we're looking forward to coming."
Reddam, who won the Donn in 2008 with Spring At Last, has high expectations for a healthy Square Eddie.
"We've always thought he was a mile-and-one-quarter horse," the owner said, "so that's the exciting thing."
Trainer and owner will be preparing to send their charge to the $10 million Dubai World Cup on Saturday, March 26 if he produces a solid result.
For the Donn Handicap, Square Eddie will face Fly Down who was third in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic and has earned over a $1 million.
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