Updated on 09/17/2011 10:56AM

Old rivals meet again in Maddy


ALBANY, Calif. - Echo Eddie and El Dorado Shooter are not classic rivals in the Affirmed-Alydar sense, but they are the past two winners of the $100,000 Ken Maddy Sprint, which will be run Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Echo Eddie and El Dorado Shooter, both 6-year-old geldings, have similar records. El Dorado Shooter, the Golden Gate Fields record-holder at six furlongs, has 9 wins, 4 seconds, and a third in 19 starts. Echo Eddie also has 9 wins, with 6 seconds and 3 thirds in 21 starts.

The difference between the two is in their bankrolls.

Echo Eddie, who ran second in the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai after last year's Maddy victory against Cal-breds, has earned $981,854 and can become a millionaire by finishing first or second Saturday.

El Dorado Shooter, bred by trainer Cliff Delima and owned by his wife Barbara, has earned $333,390.

In 2001, the two went head-and-head the entire six furlongs with El Dorado Shooter gaining a wire-to-wire victory by three-quarters of a length.

Last year, both chased Gibson County early. Echo Eddie took the lead on the turn and went on to a decisive win, while El Dorado Shooter, who was later discovered to have a low blood count, faded badly to finish last.

Both should be at the top of their game Saturday.

"I feel good about his condition," Delima said of El Dorado Shooter, who comes off a second in Halo Cat's fast victory in the Montclair Handicap here Jan. 19.

"The last time, he could have opened up early, but the kid [jockey Kevin Krigger] misunderstood," said Delima, who will replace Kevin Krigger with Russell Baze for Saturday's race.

Trainer Darrell Vienna isn't concerned about Echo Eddie's fourth-place finish as the favorite in the Sunshine Millions Sprint after stalking a very quick pace. "That was a spectacular race," Vienna said.

Chad Schvaneveldt, who rode El Dorado Shooter last year, will ride Echo Eddie on Saturday.

"Echo Eddie can rate a little bit, but I don't think you've seen [El Dorado Shooter] really come from behind," said Schvaneveldt, who believes that will give his horse an edge.

Maiden challenges winners

Direct Male, a maiden, faces six rivals in Friday's Golden Gate Fields feature, a one-mile allowance race on the turf.

Direct Male may have one advantage over his rivals. He has a pair of seconds over the turf course, while this will be the first turf race for the six winners in the field.

Direct Male's two turf losses came to Winning Stripes, probably the best 3-year-old stabled in northern California, and Frisco Johnny.

Probable favorite Bridge Builder also ran second to Winning Stripes and Frisco Johnny in his past two starts.