Racing at Santa Anita with Marc Doche: Square Eddie Returns From Stud Duty

Marc DocheCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2011

An earner of over $800,000 in his career, Grade I winner Square Eddie returns to the races today after a successful season at stud.
An earner of over $800,000 in his career, Grade I winner Square Eddie returns to the races today after a successful season at stud.Jacob de Golish/Getty Images

Ahead of an exciting three-day holiday weekend of racing action, an eight-race card with just 54 horses running awaits on a Friday afternoon. The fields are short and lack much quality, but are still competitive and difficult to narrow down.

In the featured seventh race, a second-level allowance for older horses sprinting six and a half furlongs on the main track, Square Eddie comes out of retirement and is listed as the 3-to-1 third choice on the morning line in the field of seven.

The five-year-old son of Smart Strike won the Grade I Breeders' Futurity as a two-year-old before finishing second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile here at Santa Anita in 2008. His last race came over a year ago as a three-year-old in the Grade I Malibu, also here at Santa Anita, after a disappointing 2009 campaign.

Since then, he had intimate relations with 34 mares at the Vessels Farm near San Diego and recovered from a suspensory injury. Trainer Doug O’Neill says he is working better than ever and is hoping for an extended campaign in 2011 in graded stakes races going a distance of ground.

Off a smashing six-length victory in his last race at Hollywood Park, Moonlark was installed as the 9-to-5 favorite for the red-hot tandem of trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Rafael Bejarano.

Another four-figure score in yesterday’s late pick four has the ROI moving rapidly in the right direction two weeks into the meet. However, we'll pass on both of today’s sequences and look to keep things rolling tomorrow.

We’re off to the races!

Best Bet of the Day (ROI based off $2 WPS bet) 

Race 8: No. 9 Devil’s Choir (8/1 ML)

She was hung extremely wide in her last and finished up with an even effort. Seems to have perked up in her latest work with new jockey Chantal Sutherland aboard and adds the blinkers as well for the third start of her career against a lackluster bunch.

Yesterday’s Result: Show dough with Working At Night (-$2.00)

Total for 2010-11 Santa Anita meet: (-$28.90)

Pick 4

Yesterday’s Result: (+$2,194.80)

Total for 2010-11 Santa Anita meet: (+$3,934.70)

Total for 2010 Del Mar meet: (-$554.55)

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Good luck!