The 5-year-old, ridden by jockey Joel Rosario, took the lead early and scored a dominating 3 1/4-length victory over Stacy's Hope and five other opponents. He hit the wire in 1:13.11, bettering Santa Anita’s previous dirt track mark of 1:13.71 set by Son Of A Pistol on April 4, 1998.
The Canadian-bred son of Smart Strike was a budding star as a 2-year-old for trainer Doug O'Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam, running second in the 2008 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) after winning the Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland on Oct. 25, 2008, which had been his last victory.
Square Eddie missed the Triple Crown races with a cannon bone injury and was retired after several weak outings in 2009. He was bred to 35 mares last year, but O'Neill and Reddam decided to bring him back to the track.
“He seemed healthy finally, and he hadn't been that great of a sire,” Reddam said. “So why not?”
O'Neill said he hoped to take Square Eddie to major stakes for older horses, including the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).
“He's ready to win,” O'Neill said.
Square Eddie earned $35,400 for the win, his third in 13 races. He has earned a career total of $854,766.
The winner paid $7, $4.20, and $4.20. Stacy's Hope paid $4.60 and $4.60. Long shot Feisty Suances was third and paid $15 to show. The favorite, Moonlark, was fourth.