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Square Eddie thwarted by The Pamplemousse

SQUARE EDDIE, a son of Smart Strike who left the Kent base of trainer John Best shortly before taking the Breeders' Cup Juvenile's silver medal, finished second in his first step toward the Kentucky Derby when beaten two lengths by The Pamplemousse.

Sent off the 26-10 second favourite under Alex Solis, The Pamplemousse went to the lead at the start, and though 3-5 favourite Square Eddie got to within a length and a half of the winner, he could not sustain his run down the straight.

The Pamplemousse is a member of the second crop of Kafwain, who has been transferred within Kentucky from Darley's Jonabell Farm to Hurstland Farm. Kafwain's fee in 2009 is $6,500.

Ryehill Dreamer, a son of Catcher In The Rye formerly trained in Ireland by Tommy Stack, finished nearly three lengths back in third.

Doug O'Neill, trainer of Square Eddie, said his horse "got tired" and added: "He should definitely move forward off this. It was his first race in almost three months. Obviously, we wanted him to win, but the main thing is to come out of this good and go in the right direction."

Winning rider Solis said: "I'm speechless, I really am. This horse has such a high cruising speed. Itfeels like he's walking, he does everything so effortlessly. He was so impressive. When the other horses came to him he didn't see them. He heard them and just took off. I better go to church and start praying he stays sound."

Trainer Julio Canani added: "He's developing mentally and physically. He's awkward because he's growing and growing. He's huge. I was concerned when I saw the early fractions, but he was training unbelievable. I'll take my time with him, and if he runsin the Santa Anita Derby (April 4), he may run one more time before that."

Another former Best inmate, Axel Foley, finished nearly two lengths behind the Russell Baze-ridden Chocolate Candy in the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.




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