Updated on 09/17/2011 9:56PM

Eddington gets it done in Gulfstream Handicap

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Jockey Eibar Coa makes his move off the final turn aboard Eddington enroute to victory in the $300,000 Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Eddington shed his underachieving label for good on Saturday by rolling to a 3 1/4-length victory in the Grade 2, $300,000 . Pies Prospect rallied for second by 3 1/4 lengths over Zakocity.

Eddington had gone winless in his previous eight graded-stakes attempts on dirt, though he did win the Grade 3 Calder Derby on turf. At 3, Eddington finished third in the Preakness and fourth in the Belmont Stakes.

Eddington had a perfect trip under Eibar Coa. Four horses initially went out for the lead, but Zakocity and Kennel Up wound up dueling through four furlongs in 47.28 seconds while Pies Prospect and Classic Endeavor settled into the second flight.

Eddington sat fifth down the backside, advanced three wide entering the far turn, and drew on even terms with Zakocity approaching the quarter pole. Coa didn't ask Eddington until they straightened away for home, and he closed powerfully. Eddington, trained by Mark Hennig for Willmott Stables Inc., covered the 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.74. He returned $5.20 as the favorite.

"His three races this year are undoubtedly his best," said Hennig, referring to an allowance win and a third-place finish behind Saint Liam and Roses in May in the Donn before this. "Hopefully he'll continue to progress as the year goes on."

Hennig said Eddington could make his next start in the Pimlico Special on May 20.