The breeding career of Square Eddie, one of the leading 2-year-olds of 2008, was short-lived. The son of Smart Strike is back in training with Doug O’Neill.
Owned by J. Paul Reddam, Square Eddie was retired to stud in early 2010 after there was some swelling detected in an ankle, O’Neill said. The 4-year-old stood the breeding season at Vessels Stallion Station near Bonsall, California. The farm said 40 mares were bred to Square Eddie and 38 were pronounced in foal.
Despite that success rate at stud, the decision was made to return the colt to the track after he checked out fine.
"After he was done breeding, we checked his legs and they were cold and tight," O'Neill said. "We have got him back on the track for Chapter 2 (of his racing career)."
O’Neill said there are no plans to have alternate breeding and racing careers for Square Eddie. "That breeding was more accidental than anything because of the timing. The main focus is running. If for some reason he has some hiccups and can’t run, then we’ll go back to breeding."
After making four starts in England, with one second in a group III stakes, Square Eddie was purchased privately by Reddam and returned to the U.S. In his first domestic start, the colt won the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland and then finished second, behind eventual champion Midshipman, in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Third highest-weighted male on the 2008 Experimental Free Handicap at 123 pounds, Square Eddie was put on the Triple Crown trail of 2009. He ran second in the San Rafael (gr. II) and third in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), and was being pointed toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Square Eddie’s Derby plans went awry, however, when on the week of the race he returned from a workout with heat in a shin.
After being rested until fall, Square Eddie completed the year unplaced in four additional starts. A sixth-place effort in the grade I Malibu Stakes last December at Santa Anita was his most recent start.
The chestnut colt has a record of 2-3-2 from 12 starts and earnings of $819.366. Bred in Ontario by Kinghaven Farms, Square Eddie was initially purchased by Kern/Lillingston Association for $200,000 from the Brookdale Sales consignment at the Keeneland September 2007 yearling sale.