02/13/2013 3:55PM

Santa Anita notes: Ultimate Eagle back in California after injury

Shigeki Kikkawa
Ultimate Eagle grabbed a quarter during the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Ultimate Eagle, who was pulled up and vanned off in the $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park last weekend because of a grabbed quarter, was flown to trainer Mike Pender’s base at Hollywood Park on Wednesday to continue his recovery.

Pender said that Ultimate Eagle was treated for a severely grabbed quarter in his left foreleg after the Donn. Pender said that the incident likely occurred at the start. Jockey Martin Pedroza pulled up Ultimate Eagle at the end of the backstretch after the 5-year-old horse faded from contention.

“We thought he took an awkward step leaving the gate,” Pender said. “It could have been a lot worse. We’re managing it and controlling the risk of infection with antiobiotics.”

Owned by B.J. Wright, Ultimate Eagle has won 5 of 13 starts and $547,800. A start in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2 will not take place, which will leave Pender plotting a spring campaign for Ultimate Eagle after the foot recovers.

Medication violation rulings issued

The $48,000 purse of an optional claimer at Betfair Hollywood Park in November has been ordered partially redistributed after second-place finisher Dugan Bill tested positive for the Class 2 medication Carisoprodol/Meprobamate.

The medication is a muscle relaxant not allowed to appear in post-race tests. A ruling was issued by Santa Anita stewards last weekend.

Dugan Bill finished second at 72-1 in the seventh race on Nov. 8. The stewards ordered that the $9,600 share of the purse earned by Dugan Bill be forfeited by owner David Williams, trainer Paul Aguirre, and jockey Iggy Puglisi. Prize money for the second- through fifth-place finishers was ordered redistributed to the owners of the original third- through sixth-place finishers – Three Vases, My Slew, Cabo Chico, and Jeffrey’s Groove.

In a separate ruling, trainer Angel Rodriguez was fined $1,500 after two of his starters at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita in December tested positive for Flumethasone, a corticosteroid.

John Flynn More than 1 year ago
I think he is the Best Horse in th World. But, he has four bandaged legs. Maybe Retirement would be the Best Avenue for Him. He won a Grade 1.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I would suggest getting Ultimate Eagle back on turf. I know he had an excuse for the Donn, but that pace was likely too much for him anyways. When he won the Oak Tree Derby he got the half in 47, when he won the Hollywood Derby he got the half in 49 and 6 furlongs in 1:14. In his runner-up efforts in the Citation and San Pasqual he got the half in 47 and 4 and 47 and 3 and 6 furlongs in 1:11 and 4 and 1:11 and 1. In the 2011 Sir Beaufort, he couldn't make the lead through a half in 45 and 2 and 6 furlongs in 1:09 flat and finished a well beaten 3rd. I can't hold his fade in last year's Big Cap against him because few horses in history could have survived going 44 and change in a 10 furlong race; however, that would have been a good race for Ultimate Eagle to prove that he can rate from off the pace and win. The one race where Ultimate Eagle experienced a solid pace and kept going was in the 2012 Strub. That day he ran Tapizar into the ground before spread eagling the field. Yet, in should be mentioned that Tapizar probably didn't want 9 furlongs, and the other horses were either in poor form or just not that good. It must also be mentioned that the track was playing extremely quick on Strub day last year. So, the fractions of 46 and 4 and 1:10, while still solid, were not as exceptional as they might first appear, and Ultimate Eagle was able to get away with a 13 and 2 final eighth. With speed horses like Game on Dude, Fort Larned, Wise Dan, Successful Dan, and now Graydar likely to contest the grade 1 dirt races, I strongly encourage Pender and Wright placing Ultimate Eagle back on turf where he is likely to see much more moderate paces.