Updated on 09/16/2011 9:54AM

Echo Eddie bulls way to Dayjur win


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Echo Eddie might not have raced for more than five months, but he came back Sunday with his game face on. Forced to bull his way through along the rail, Echo Eddie fought his way to the front and outraced Rocky Bar to capture the $85,970 on the closing-day card at Hollywood Park.

Echo Eddie, starting from the rail, did not have enough speed to hold the rail entering the far turn, as Rocky Bar sped to the front with an opening quarter-mile in 21.66 seconds. Gibson County was just outside of Rocky Bar, so Echo Eddie had to sit in tight along the rail as the field moved around the turn.

As the field neared the top of the stretch, though, a sliver of daylight opened between Rocky Bar and the rail. Echo Eddie and jockey Patrick Valenzuela moved aggressively to seize the moment, and they squeezed through the narrow opening.

Echo Eddie drew away in the final furlong to win by two lengths in 1:02.74 for 5 1/2 furlongs on the fast main track. Rocky Bar held on for second, a half-length better than Slew of the Night. Mighty David and Gibson County completed the finish in the five-horse field.

Echo Eddie, a 5-year-old gelding whom Darrell Vienna trains for owners David and Rita Milch, has now won nine times in 20 starts. He had not raced since finishing second in the Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder Race Course on July 13. He suffered a quarter crack, then was offered for sale in November at a Milch dispersal at Keeneland, but he failed to meet his reserve and was bought back.

Vienna said Echo Eddie's major goal next spring will be the Dubai Golden Shaheen, which he lost narrowly this year to Caller One.