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)