J. Paul Reddam's Square Eddie moved into striking position rounding the far turn and drew off in the stretch for an easy win under Rafael Bejarano in the $500,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) (VIDEO) Oct. 4 on the Keeneland Polytrack. The victory earned the 2-year-old Smart Strike colt an automatic berth in the $2-million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.
One of three Futurity starters shipping in from Europe for trainer John Best, Square Eddie had made four lifetime starts, all in England. In the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” event, he stayed close to the pace set by Notonthesamepage, inched closer to the front around the turn and struck the lead at the top of the stretch. The chestnut increased his advantage with every stride in the final furlong, going on to win by 4 3/4 lengths.
Terrain rallied from well of the pace to finish second under Jamie Theriot, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Pioneerof the Nile. Deposer was fourth in a field of 11 juveniles. The final time for 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack was 1:43.04.
Square Eddie was recently purchased by Reddam and moved into the barn of Doug O’Neill on Wednesday. In fact, O’Neill did not get his first look at his new colt until a few hours before post.
After setting splits of :23.18, :47.54 and 1:12.10, Notonthesamepage began to tire. Majestic Blue, who was pressing the pace the whole way, was towards the inside and in contention until the final furlong. But Square Eddie, who waited patiently behind rivals and was never far off the lead, began his assault on the front nearing the quarter-pole and pounced on the leaders. He took a three-length advantage with a furlong remaining and sailed to an easy win.
“The horse was very comfortable in the race, and he was very professional,” said Bejarano. “I was right next to the speed and when it came to the turn, I felt like I had a lot of speed. The horse gave me everything.”
Square Eddie entered the Futurity off a narrow defeat in the group III Totswinger Sirenia Stakes Sept. 6 at Kempton, one race after breaking his maiden on the Salisbury turf. He was bred in Ontario by Kinghaven Farms Limited and is out of the El Gran Senor mare Forty Gran.
Sent of as the 9-1 sixth choice, Square Eddie paid $20.20, $9.60 and $6.20. The exacta (8-9) was worth $117.80, while the trifecta (8-9-5) returned $834.80.
Majestic Blue was fifth, followed by His Greatness, Zion, Flasmans Papers, Advice, Reynaldothewizard and Notonthesamepage.