04/22/2009 12:00AM

Nakatani moves to Square Eddie


The long-term friendship between owner Paul Reddam and jockey Corey Nakatani came into play again on Wednesday when Nakatani decided to pass on riding Mr. Hot Stuff in the May 2 Kentucky Derby to ride instead the Reddam-owned Square Eddie.

It was a domino-like series of events that put Nakatani on Square Eddie.

Square Eddie finished third in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes on Saturday with Edgar Prado, but Prado on Sunday opted to ride Dunkirk when Garrett Gomez picked Pioneerof the Nile over Dunkirk.

That opened the mount on Square Eddie, and Nakatani took it. He had been scheduled to ride Mr. Hot Stuff, who most recently was third in the Santa Anita Derby.

Eoin Harty, the trainer of Mr. Hot Stuff, said he was informed of Nakatani's decision on Wednesday morning and had yet to decide on a replacement.