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Come and Get Ultimate Eagle in San Pasqual

Martin Pedroza will play come and catch me as usual on Ultimate Eagle when he rides horse racing’s routing version of Usain Bolt in Saturday’s San Pasqual Stakes.

A 5-year-old son of Mizzen Mast owned by B. J Wright and trained by Mike Pender, Ultimate Eagle’s five career victories have all been wire-to-wire.

That would include the Grade II Strub Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita’s conventional dirt track last February. A month later, Ultimate Eagle faded to 10th of 12 in the mile and a quarter Santa Anita Handicap, a race in which his style was compromised by a sacrificial speed horse.

“I’m the only one who works this horse and he’s doing better than ever,” said Pedroza of Ultimate Eagle, whose last race was a second in the Grade II Citation Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on Betfair Hollywood Park’s turf course Nov. 23.

“His style is come and chase me, come and chase me,” said Pedroza, who registered career victory No. 3,500 on opening day. “The mile and a sixteenth of the San Pasqual won’t be any problem. Unless somebody goes crazy, my plan is definitely to be in front. You can throw out his race in the Santa Anita Handicap.

“None of the horses in the San Pasqual have the speed of my horse, none of them. They could if they use it, but it will hurt their chances and I don’t think it’s going to hurt my chances.

“They would have to change their style to push me. My horse’s speed comes naturally.” The field for the San Pasqual, a steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2: Jaycito, Julien Leparoux, 5-1; Tres Borrachos, Garrett Gomez, 6-1; Ultimate Eagle, Martin Pedroza, 3-1; John Scott, Victor Espinoza, 7-2; Coil, Martin Garcia, 5-2; Bank the Eight, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Key Decision, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; and Golden Itiz, Jose Valdivia Jr., 20-1.

Hoorayforhollywood was scratched.



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