Ultimate Eagle Returns To Dirt In San Pasqual

Racing News
Posted 01.02.13 at 3:37

Ultimate Eagle scores a gate-to-wire upset victory in the Hollywood Derby. © Benoit Photo

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (January 2, 2013)—Ultimate Eagle, who earned the most significant victory of his career in the Grade I Hollywood Derby in 2011, will try a surface switch in the $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita.

A Grade II at 1 1/16 miles, the San Pasqual is the seventh of nine races. Post time for a program that also includes the $100,000 Grade III Sham Stakes, is 12:30 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 10:15 a.m. for simulcasts.

Trained by Mike Pender for owner B.J. Wright, Ultimate Eagle went gate-to-wire at 14-1 in the Hollywood Derby, holding off Imagining by three-quarters of a length.

Sent to the sidelines after finishing 10th as the 2-1 favorite in the Santa Anita Handicap last March 3, the son of Mizzen Mast and the Captain Bodgit mare Letithappencaptain returned with a sharp second place finish behind Data Link in the Grade II Citation Handicap Nov. 23 at Betfair Hollywood Park.

The 5-year-old, who has earned $517,800 while winning five of 11, won the Grade II Strub Stakes by 7 ¼ lengths over the Santa Anita main track last Feb. 4.

Ultimate Eagle’s opponents in the San Pasqual include 2008 Swaps Stakes upsetter Tres Borrachos and Coil, who won the 2011 Affirmed for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

From inside out, the field for the San Pasqual: Jaycito, Julien Leparoux rides, 118 pounds; Hoorayforhollywood, Joe Talamo, 118; Tres Borrachos, Garrett Gomez, 118; Ultimate Eagle, Martin Pedroza, 120; John Scott, Victor Espinoza, 118; Coil, Martin Garcia, 118; Bank the Eight, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Key Decision, Edwin Maldonado, 118 and Golden Itiz, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 118.

The cast for the one-mile Sham, which goes as the third race, includes Den’s Legacy, who finished third in the Grade I CashCall Futurity Dec. 15 three weeks after winning the Grade III Generous over the Betfair Hollywood Park turf.

The most accomplished member of the lineup is Goldencents, a 3-year-old Into Mischief colt who won the $1 million Delta Jackpot Nov. 17 at Delta Downs. Doug O’Neill trains Goldencents for a partnership. The Kentucky bred has earned $722,000 while winning two of three.

From inside out, the field for the Sham: Den’s Legacy, Garrett Gomez rides, 120 pounds; Goldencents, Kevin Krigger, 120; Greeley Awesome, Mario Gutierrez, 118; Dry Summer, Joe Talamo, 118; Dirty Swagg, Tyler Baze, 118 and Manando, Martin Garcia, 118.

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