Echo Eddie Eclipses Stakes Record in Valiant Pete Handicap

Echo Eddie held off Full Moon Madness by a length Sunday in the $100,000 Valiant Pete Handicap for California-bred horses at Santa Anita. Echo Eddie, ridden by Iggy Puglisi and carrying 117 pounds, ran six furlongs in a stakes-record 1:08.27, and paid $2.40 and $2.20. The Valiant Pete was first run in 1998.

"He's just an awesome, fast horse," said Puglisi. "He never stops coming. He's just real athletic, he'll run on any type of surface and he hasn't given me a bad race yet. He's a legit horse -- for a half-mile, he might be the fastest horse in the world."

Full Moon Madness, the 2000 winner ridden by Corey Nakatani, returned $2.40 and $2.20. Champ's Star paid $2.80 to show. The $1 exacta paid $3.70. McCordnskuba came home fourth, followed by Kaiser So Say.

The winner, a 4-year-old by Restless Con bred by Bud Dardi, has a 7-2-3 record from 13 starts. He's earned $328,516, including $63,540 for the Valiant Pete.

"This horse doesn't necessarily have to be in front," said winning trainer Darrell Vienna. "If someone else wanted it (the lead), we weren't going to be on the lead. But it doesn't look like anyone else wanted to go that leisurely :43 and change (:43.72 for the half-mile). He'll probably hit those turf sprints at Hollywood next, but we'll see what's there. Sprint is the operative word, that's for sure." (Chart, Equibase)