Canadian-bred likely continues on to Derby


– In a second, it appeared as if SQUARE EDDIE was going to runaway with yesterday’s LEXINGTON STAKES at Keeneland and go the Kentucky Derby as one of the favourites. Instead, the Canadian-bred got a bit weary after a wild journey throughout the 1 1/16 miles.

Under Edgar Prado and making his first start since February when he had an injured shin, Square Eddie broke several lengths behind the field and immediately was sprayed with the Polytrack kickback from Keeneland’s main track surface.

With his mouth open and pulling hard, Square Eddie was off the rail and in the back of the field as they turned into the backstretch.

He seemed to settle nicely while the pace up front was quick enough. At the quarter-pole, while parked out in the 3-4path and heading into the turn, Prado decided it was time to let the son of Smart Strike go.

Square Eddie made what can only be described as an Arazi-type move (he kind of looks like him too) as he blew past the field while hung out 7 wide of the turn.

It was fun to watch but then no one was surprised when the colt suddenly ran out of gas by the eighth pole – hard to win with those kinds of moves.

His Beyer Figure of 91 matched his previous best.


“We just didn’t get lucky today,” said Prado.  “He broke a little flat footed and I had to make a move and go wide because I didn’t want to wait for something to open up on the inside.  He made a great run and was trying really hard.  He gave a 110 percent today.”


Trainer Doug O’Neil said it was likely that Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie would go on to the Derby.  “I have to talk to the Reddams.  I haven’t had a chance to speak to Paul yet, but I’m very proud of the effort.  With a clean break, I think he’d be right there.”

YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE LEXINGTON STAKES: http://www.youtube.com/v/-5QgNTgxuoE&hl=en&fs=1


– Champion filly DANCING ALLSTAR was well rated by jockey Jim McAleney in yesterday’s WHIMSICAL STAKES at Woodbine and the British Columbia-bred filly had a lot left to win the Grade 3 event.

Setting a slow first quarter time of 23.22 and had a short lead. The closers could never get her in the stretch despite racing on the wrong lead. McAleney never had to turn his stick over.

The winner ran a 95 Beyer Figure for the 1:09 .16 time and held off Smart Surprise, the big favourite by 1 ¾ lengths.

Closers like Smart Surprise and third place finisher Proud Heiress, who was very far off the slow early pace, had no chance to catch the speed winner. Bob Cheema owns Dancing Allstar and Terry Jordan trains the daughter of Millennium Allstar.



– While SQUARE EDDIE is likely headed to the Kentucky Derby and any plans for the Queen’s Plate put on hold (if it’s being considered at all), the local 3yo’s are scrambling to sort themselves out. After EL BRUJO’s romp in the Achievement, it is hard to find much else out there.

Yesterday, one of the top 10 favourites KEINO WEST made his seaosn debut in a 5 ½ furlong sprint. It was not fruitful – he trailed all the way and wa slast of 8.

In the next race, some maidens gathered in an intriguing 6 ½ furlong dash but it was Kentucky bred BEAR’S PROSPECTOR who ran away with the race and posted an 80 Beyer Figure.

The best results from the others in that event was the 60 to 1 shot DR. FUNKENSTEIN who rallied for 2nd for Richard Day’s Kingview Farm. He just got past his stablemate QUIET APPROVAL who was third. Both are trained by Catherine Day Phillips.



Stars take a shot

–  The Star Shoot Stakes is often a stepping stone to races leading up to the Woodbine Oaks but this year’s field does not have too many big players.

KOONUNGA HILL (Wonneberg) makes her season debut for Empress Stable and trainer Steve Owens while California raced DEEVEETEE (Doneraile Court) looks like the tough one along with Mike Ambler’s homebred DOUBLE MALT.

At Keeneland today – Canadian-bed STERWINS, owned by Eugene Melnyk, is a contender in the Grade 3 Ben Ali:

Sunday, Keeneland, post time: 4:35 p.m. ET

BEN ALI S.-GIII, $150,000, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m (AWT)


1 Adriano A.P. Indy Mott 5-1

2 Grasshopper Dixie Union Howard 9-2

3 Dominican El Corredor Miller 4-1

4 Your Round Distorted Humor Hubley 15-1

5 Monba Maria=s Mon Pletcher 5-2

6 Sterwins Runaway Groom Pierce 7-2

7 Parading Pulpit McGaughey 5-1