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Back for a Title Defense

April 19, 2002|BOB MIESZERSKI

After getting beat by a head in a race worth $2 million, Echo Eddie will try to get the money in a $100,000 stakes today at Santa Anita.

A loser in a photo finish to Caller One in the Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 23, the gray gelding will try to win the Valiant Pete Handicap for a second consecutive year.

Echo Eddie, a California-bred son of Restless Con who is owned by David and Rita Milch and trained by Darrell Vienna, beat Full Moon Madness--who is also in today's race--in last year's Valiant Pete. He won by a length in 1:081/5 for the six furlongs.

A former claimer, Echo Eddie has won eight of 16 and will be reunited with Iggy Puglisi. The rider was aboard for his win in the 2001 Valiant Pete, and, in fact, three victories before that. A winner of three of four at Santa Anita, Echo Eddie has been 1-2 in all seven of his races at six furlongs, but it will be interesting to see how he fares in his first race after taking the long journey to Dubai.

Besides Full Moon Madness, who hasn't run since last year's Valiant Pete, the field is completed by Men's Exclusive, who was fourth in the Golden Shaheen; Revelling, who won his first after a lengthy layoff when beating Irish Muldoon by a nose on April 3; and Ride And Shine, who was third in that race, beaten by a nose and a head by Revelling.

Race of the day: The seventh at Santa Anita has a field of 11 going a mile on the turf and is the fourth leg of a pick six that has a carryover of $117,360.54

Who's hot: John Martin. The trainer won with five of his first 11 starters at Bay Meadows. His only starter today is Gottalovefaith, a 3-year-old Fastness colt who has won three in a row and four of his last five. Gottalovefaith is a contender in the seventh at 11/16 miles on the turf.

Who's not: Frank Brothers. The trainer won with only four of his first 50 starters this year, below his normal output.

Exotically speaking: A pick three using Great White Father and Van Rouge in the third, all in the fourth and singling Margeds Dandy in the fifth.

Winners: Previous day/meet total: 1/224. Money: Previous day/meet total: $3.40/$1,292. Total money bet: $1,410.

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