Ultimate Eagle scores 34-1 upset

BY foxsports • October 15, 2011

Ultimate Eagle beat Venomous by a half-length Saturday in the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby at 34-1 odds in his stakes debut.

Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Ultimate Eagle ran 1 1-8 miles on the turf at Santa Anita in 1 minute, 47.03 seconds and paid $70.40.

Cozy Kitten was third.

''My horse was going fast, but he was pretty comfortable. There was never a doubt in my mind he could run this big,'' Pedroza said. ''In my mind, he was not 40-1 or whatever his odds were. I like this horse, and I told Mike, 'Wow,' when I worked him last. That's all I can say about this horse.''

Midnight Interlude, the 9-5 favorite trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, was fourth. His jockey, Rafael Bejarano, claimed a foul against Venomous, saying his horse was impeded during the stretch run, but the claim was disallowed.

It was Ultimate Eagle's third consecutive victory.

''This was our Kentucky Derby horse before he got colic as a 2-year-old,'' trainer Mike Pender said. ''It's a miracle he's even here. It would make a great story.''

Added owner B.J. Wright, ''He came within a breath of dying last June. We're very proud that he's alive.''

The victory, worth $90,000, increased Ultimate Eagle's earnings to $179,800, with three wins in six starts.

It was the second stakes victory for Pender and Wright in a week. Last Saturday, Jeranimo upset 4-5 favorite Mr. Commons to win the $150,000 Oak Tree Mile.


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