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ARCADIA, CA – Philip Wood and Jim Hailey’s Eddie Haskell made it look easy when he breezed past early leader What’sontheagenda in midstretch before drawing away under a hand ride to win Saturday’s $100,000 Daytona Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from post 3 under Kent Desormeaux as the 4/5 favorite, Eddie Haskell made an early push for the lead while dueling between What’sontheagenda to his outside and Kanthaka along the rail. What’sontheagenda and jockey Agapito Delgadillo soon demanded sole command heading into the far turn, so Desormeaux backed off into a stalking position.
Tipping off of the rail and rebidding at the top of the stretch, Eddie Haskell lugged in slightly but still proved to be much the best. The Mark Glatt trainee crossed the wire with an easy 1 3/4-length advantage in a final time of :55.49 for the 5-furlong sprint over the firm turf course.
“There were some harrowing moments down the backside and that was probably his best chance to beat Eddie,” Desormeaux said. “After about 100 yards, I sent Eddie to quicken the pace and Agapito came with me, then he finally pushed the button and cleared us off. It made it really nice for the mount that I had; he’s just phenomenal. When I pushed the button, he gave me a whiplash, popped a wheelie, and took off and went after the leader. I’m having fun riding fabulous horses like this one.”
What’sontheagenda faded in the stretch run but still managed to hold off Kanthaka by a 1/2-length at the finish line. Brandothebartender raced three-wide in the stretch but didn’t have the kick necessary to improve from fourth. Blameitonthelaw, Buckys Pick, and Horse Greedy completed the order of finish.
Eddie Haskell’s win came in his graded stakes debut and improved his overall record to 20-8-2-5. The California-bred 6-year-old gelded son of Square Eddie has now earned $453,107 in his career.
“He’s a top horse going 5/8,” Glatt said. “He won throttled down today, man. That was impressive. I wasn’t worried about where he was early. I thought I was running the best horse. He’s learned to come from a little bit off the pace, and I think it’s even made him a little better horse going 5 furlongs. It was cool.”
Glatt advised Wood and Hailey to claim Eddie Haskell when he ran for a $50,000 tag on April 26, 2018, as he made his first start in 368 days. Though he finished fourth there, he soon found his stride under Glatt’s care, winning three times last fall before taking a February allowance event here in a track-record time of :55.06.
“Mark has done a great job with this horse,” Hailey said. “When Mark called me and said he wanted to claim this horse, when he had a layoff, I thought he was absolutely crazy. It was a lot of money, but we took his recommendation and it’s worked out great. We couldn’t be happier.”
Eddie Haskell returned $3.60 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. What’sontheagenda brought back $4.80 to place and $3.40 to show, while Kanthaka paid $2.80 to show.
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