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
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
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.