A 10 month layoff may have had the skeptics questioning if Gr.1 winner and 2012 Strub Stakes Gr.2 victor Ultimate Eagle (MIZZEN MAST) was still in top form, but his return to action in late November of 2012 surely dismissed any of those queries when he finished second in the Citation Handicap Gr.2 to Gr.1 winner and top performer Data Link.

In light of that, it should have been no surprise when, upon his 2013 debut at Santa Anita on Saturday in the San Pasqual Stakes Gr.2, Ultimate Eagle finished in the place position by the narrowest of margins to another Gr.1 winner Coil.  This time on dirt, Ultimate Eagle went straight to the lead where he held that position until challenged coming down the stretch.  He and Coil battled it out as they passed the grandstand, leaving Ultimate Eagle 6 1/4 lengths ahead of the third place finisher at the end and only a head short of victory.

The son of MIZZEN MAST, owned by B.J. Wright and trained by Michael Pender, will be aimed at the Santa Anita Handicap Gr.1 for 2013.

Date: 6 January 2013