02/08/2012 5:12PM

Santa Anita: Setsuko pointed for Big Cap again

Benoit & Associates
Setsuko (left) runs second to Game On Dude in the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Richard Mandella's stable has already had a successful start to the month with older horses.

Setsuko, gelded last summer, won his first start in five months in an allowance race at Santa Anita last Saturday. Second in a roughly-run Santa Anita Handicap last March, Setsuko is being pointed for the Big Cap on March 3.

Setsuko’s win came in his first start since a ninth-place finish in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic last August. Setsuko pulled clear in the final furlong to win by 2 1/4 lengths, his second career win in 17 career starts. He has placed in five stakes.

“He couldn’t have run any better,” Mandella said. “He came out of the race in great shape.”

The Santa Anita Handicap will also include Ultimate Eagle, who won the Grade 2 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds last Saturday by 7 1/4 lengths. Ultimate Eagle led throughout, and gained the respect of Mandella.

“He might keep going,” Mandella said. “But there should be some pace” in the Big Cap.