The son of Smart Strike, who has been plagued with sore shins while on the Derby trail, worked a half-mile at Churchill Downs April 26 under exercise rider Tony Romero in :50 1/5. O’Neill said he made the decision after conferring with Reddam.
“There was a little heat in his left shin,” O’Neill said outside Barn 17 Tuesday morning. “He’s walking sound and looks fine, but we decided to err on the side of caution. It’s extremely disappointing. If the race were a month from now it would be a different story.”We realized we had to be hiccup free to make the Derby and this was the first sign of a little hiccup. He’s going to be fine. Unfortunately, it’s the biggest race of the year. We are extremely disappointed but at the same time extremely grateful that he’s sound.
Square Eddie began is racing career in England and was purchased by Reddam in mid-season. In the U.S., the pint-sized colt was one of the top 2-year-olds of 2008, winning the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland and running second to champion Midshipman in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). This season, Square Eddie ran second in the San Rafael (gr. II) at Santa Anita before being sidelined with a shin problem. After a three-month layoff, he returned to finish a fast-closing third in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) over the Polytrack at Keeneland.
Square Eddie has two victories, three seconds, and two thirds in eight starts and eanred $817,366.
Bred in Canada by Kinghaven Farms, Square Eddie was produced from the El Gran Senor mare Forty Gran, who has been represented by four winners from as many starters.