Sun | Oct 2, 2022

Eagle One too classy for the field

Published:Thursday | August 18, 2022 | 12:12 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
EAGLE ONE (right), ridden by Dick Cardenas, wins the Labour Day Trophy ahead of ANOTHER BU.LET (Robert Halledeen) and the late rushing EXCESSIVE FORCE (Oshane Nugent) over seven furlongs in the eighth-race at Caymanas Park on May 25, 2021.
EAGLE ONE (right), ridden by Dick Cardenas, wins the Labour Day Trophy ahead of ANOTHER BU.LET (Robert Halledeen) and the late rushing EXCESSIVE FORCE (Oshane Nugent) over seven furlongs in the eighth-race at Caymanas Park on May 25, 2021.

EAGLE ONE belongs nowhere near overnight-allowance runners, having beaten open allowance/graded stakes in February, afterwards holding his own in subsequent races at the level, including a four-length finish for fourth behind JORDON REIGN’s 1:12.3 at six furlongs on last.

However, the Snakes and Ladders of condition racing, having last won six months ago, or whatever applies in this case, has United States-bred EAGLE ONE sliding down two classes from where he ran a month ago, pressing stablemate LURE OF LUCY on the lead before JORDON REIGN’s ran through a furlong out and DUKE closed along the rail, relegating him to fourth.

Don’t get antsy over top weight 126lb. First, most are too close in the handicaps to out-of-class EAGLE ONE, the likes of RACE CAR and DEJAE’S BOY being joint top weight. Second, it’s the same EAGLE ONE, who carried 123lb in the April 2 Saint Cecelia Trophy, tackling stablemates GO DEH GIRL and I’VE GOT MAGIC on the lead before FURTHER AND BEYOND pounced off the home turn.

The first five furlongs of the Saint Cecelia were run in a cracking 58.3 in which EAGLE ONE was still third approaching the furlong pole before DEJAE’S BOY hindered him and GOD OF LOVE closing along the rail. EAGLE ONE’s three subsequent races were all graded-stakes events, beaten no more than six lengths, suggesting his turn would have eventually come to be unsaddled in the winners’ enclosure.

Instead, the foreigner pops up among overnight-allowance runners with graded-stakes form, ready to run roughshod over rivals too close at the handicaps and others who have never won a race at the level, more so beat the graded-stakes company.

EMPEROROFTHECATS is the lone three-year-old in the event, reaching overnight allowance not by winning a classic but instead beating non-winners of three races at five furlongs straight – BUZZ CITY LIGHT and THALOS – clocking 1:00.1.

Sitting nine pounds off EAGLE ONE, after the foreigner rubbed shoulders with JORDON REIGN’s, who returned to seal a hat-trick of wins, can’t be good news for EMPEROROFTHECATS debuting at the level.