Minister Eric, a Kentucky-bred son of Old Trieste, worked four furlongs Wednesday morning in :47 2/5 for Richard Mandella, who also plans to saddle Swaps Stakes (gr. I) winner Rock Hard Ten, making his first start under the guidance of the Hall of Fame trainer."It was a little eye-opener," Mandella said of Minister Eric's drill. "He ran well enough (in an optional claiming race at 6 ½ furlongs at Hollywood Park on Nov. 17). We're putting blinkers on him for the Malibu. I think that might perk him up and he should like the distance of seven furlongs. He was beaten a half-length at that distance in the Del Mar Futurity."
Minister Eric, owned by the Diamond A Racing Corporation of Jerry Ford of Texas, has a 2-3-3 record from 10 starts with earnings of $442,771, the majority of that coming from a second-place finish behind stablemate Action This Day in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).Probable for the Malibu: Areyoutalkintome, no rider; Grand Reward, no rider; Harvard Avenue, no rider; Jeffries Bay, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Love of Money, Victor Espinoza; Mass Media, no rider; Minister Eric, Rene Douglas; Perfect Moon, no rider; Rock Hard Ten, Gary Stevens; Saratoga County, Mark Guidry; Sinister G., no rider; and With Distinction, Tyler Baze.