05/19/2005 11:00PM

Eddington splashes home

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Horsephotos
Eddington (left) makes a wide move in the Pimlico Special, leaving behind Funny Cide (2), Presidentialaffair (center), and Pollard's Vision (rail).

BALTIMORE - Trainer Mark Hennig admits he may have overstressed his instructions to jockey Eibar Coa to be patient aboard Eddington in last month's Oaklawn Handicap. And it may have cost him the race.

Friday, prior to the running of the Grade 1 Pimlico Special, Hennig said to Coa in the paddock, "We're not talking."

Instead, they let Eddington do the talking, and the gorgeous chestnut son of Unbridled made a loud statement by splashing his way to a 5 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 over a sloppy track. Pollard's Vision finished second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Presidentialaffair, who lost his left hind shoe in the race. Funny Cide, making his first start in 202 days, finished fourth, beaten 7 1/2 lengths.

He was followed in the order of finish by Eurosilver and Offlee Wild, the 2-1 favorite. Grand Reward was eased and was found to have a breathing problem, according to Dr. Larry Bramlage. Second of June and Badge of Silver were scratched.

The speed duel that Hennig anticipated in the Oaklawn Handicap never materialized, and Coa waited too long to react to the slow pace. Eddington finished third that day, beaten 1 1/2 lengths.

Friday, the strong pace Hennig and Coa were hoping for did materialize, as Presidentialaffair set fractions of 23.25 seconds and 46.58 for the opening half-mile while maintaining a two-length lead. Funny Cide, under Jose Santos, made a move into second midway down the backside.

Around the far turn, Pollard's Vision advanced into contention along the rail, while Eddington came wide into the stretch. Eddington made the lead inside the eighth pole and drew clear while veering in somewhat. Eddington, owned by the Willmott Stables Inc., covered the 1 3/16 miles in 1:58.05 and returned $7.20 as the second choice.

"As much speed as there was in the race, it was just a perfect setup for him today," Hennig said. "I didn't want to discuss it with Eibar too much, because we hashed it out pretty good after the last race."

Coa admitted he "stayed back there" too long in the Oaklawn Handicap. Friday, "I was waiting for him to say when he wanted to go."

It was the first Grade 1 win for Eddington and his sixth victory from 16 starts. He has now earned $1,216,760. Hennig said he may consider running Eddington next in the $500,000 Suburban on July 2 at Belmont Park.