Eddington Impresses in Gulfstream Return

(from Gulfstream report)
The twice classic-placed Eddington had an easy time of it Sunday, crushing his field in the $37,000 feature at Gulfstream Park.

The strapping 4-year-old Kentucky-bred chestnut son of Unbridled looked robust and none the worse for wear after an 11-race campaign in 2004 that included thirds in the Preakness (gr. I) and Travers (gr. I) and a fourth in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Winning trainer Mark Hennig said he's considering the Strub Stakes (gr. II) for 4-year-olds Feb. 5 at Santa Anita or the Donn Handicap (gr. I) for older horses on the same day at Gulfstream as Eddington's next try.

In the optional allowance/claiming event for non-winners of three, Eddington was reserved early for Eibar Coa, picking it up midway on the backstretch.

He cruised up effortlessly along the rail, easily put away the embattled leaders Drink a Toast and Confirmed, and opened a daylight advantage midway on the turn.

After ducking in briefly at the head of the stretch, he came home under a hand ride to win by 8 ¾ lengths, running the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.93. He paid $3.40.

"He's never been that professional before, and that's what we were hoping for here," Hennig said. "He made that middle move, which was impressive, and when he ducked in a little in the stretch, that was just (Coa) helping him through his lead change. He's always had a tendency to do that."

Confirmed showed resiliency in holding on for second while Caiman rallied for third.

"They were going kind of slow up there and I had a lot of confidence," Coa said of the early move. "I knew that just about anything I did today was going to turn out good, because this was the best horse and I knew it."

Eddington improved his career mark to 4-3-4 in 13 starts.

(Chart, Equibase)