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Coil Goes Out On Top in San Pasqual

Off as the 9-5 favorite in a field of six, Coil, with Martin Garcia aboard, gradually wore down pacesetter Ultimate Eagle and Martin Pedroza to win Saturday’s Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes by a head, getting the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.52, in his final start prior to stud duty in California.

As expected, Ultimate Eagle was sent from the gate and set fractions of 23.56, 47.64, 1:11.28 and enjoyed a half-length advantage on Coil at the top of the stretch. The pair dueled to the sixteenth pole, with the mile recorded in 1:35.84.

“I had a really good horse inside of me (Ultimate Eagle) and I just tried to follow the way he was going,” said Garcia. “When I asked him to go, he just responded, and that was it. He has been a really good horse for a long time.”

Although the San Pasqual is an important steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap on March 2, it was widely reported prior to the race that the 5-year-old son of Point Given was headed to a career at stud in California this winter.

“That was it,” said winning trainer Bob Baffert. “He’ll be retired to stud. He’ll go to Magali Farm. He’s had some issues…I’d have to run him sparingly. I think he deserves to be retired. He’s good. He’s very healthy right now, but it’s time to send him to stud.”

Owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, Coil paid $5.60, $3.00 and $2.20. With the winner’s share of $90,000, Coil ran his earnings to $1,154,360 from a record of 14-7-2-3.

Ultimate Eagle, the narrow second choice at 2-1, showed his customary heart but couldn’t hold off the winner as he finished 6 ¼ lengths clear of third-place finisher John Scott and Victor Espinoza.

“The race went very well but it’s hard when you have three Bafferts; one chasing you and the other two setting it up for the other one,” said Pedroza. “He ran very well though. (His) second race off the layoff, I couldn’t ask for more. He feels really good, he can only get better.”

Ultimate Eagle came off a second-place run in the Grade II Citation Handicap on Nov. 23, his first start since running a dull 10th as the favorite in last year’s Big ’Cap. Ultimate Eagle paid $3.80 and $2.80.

John Scott, the third choice at 7-2, never threatened the top two and paid $2.80 to show while finishing a head in front of Tres Borrachos and Garrett Gomez.

Legendary retired Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda presented the San Pasqual trophy.

 

 

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Older Comments about Coil Goes Out On Top in San Pasqual...

If neither horses had blinkers who would've won the stretch duel?
Big win by Coil and Ultimate Eagle looked pretty good too. One big thing I have noticed is that the Santa Anita track seems to be a lot more fair than it was last year, several of the winners have been coming from off the pace, that was rare last year. I hope it continues through the Breeders Cup.

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