Bob Baffert trainee Drill won the G2, $147,000 San Vicente Stakes by a nose over American Act on Sunday, while the heavy favorite Creative Cause finished third.
The long expected return of the highly touted Creative Cause—who closed as the 1-2 favorite—was not a win, but at the end it was far from disappointing.
Jockey Joel Rosario was content with taking Creative Cause to the back of the pack at the start. But he was just a couple of lengths behind American Act, who from the outside took the early lead and the first quarter-mile pole fractions in :22.78.
Drill, with jockey Martin Garcia, was second and Let's Get Cracking third on the inside, while Creative Cause was just outside of them, out of harm's way.
They remained this way and started picking up the pace right after they passed the half-mile pole in :45.83, with Drill starting to take on American Act.
As the pack reached the final quarter-mile pole, Drill was just a neck behind American Act with Creative Cause third, just two lengths off the leaders.
Once in the home stretch, Drill took the lead by almost a length. But jockey Martin Pedroza went to the left-handed whip and got a reaction from American Act on the inside and almost got to Drill on the wire, losing by a nose.
Creative Cause was gaining on the outside, but just didn't have enough track to get to the leaders, finishing just a length behind the photo-finish.
Last summer, Drill had been regarded as Bob Baffert's top two-year-old prospect, but after a series of defeats he fell off the Derby Trail radar.
During this race, although he won, the son of Lawyer Ron certainly didn't look the part of a classic distance runner.
And shortly after the race, trainer Bob Baffert told DRF.com that he will stick to the one turn races with Drill. Wise decision from his part.
American Act was a game, hard fought second-best, and it was his first going at seven furlongs. It remains to be seen if trainer Jack Carava would look to stretch him out to the two turns, possibly at the G2 San Felipe.
For Creative Cause, he got one under his belt and galloped out willingly after the race. He did show good condition and should be fine for the G2 San Felipe on March 10th, his next targeted prep race.
Besides Creative Cause, Sham Stakes winner Out of Bounds, Delta Downs winner Sabercat and San Pedro Stakes winner Midnight Transfer are being pointed to the race.
Add to those the possible participation of the good-looking colts Fed Biz and Empire Way and we have ourselves a great race to watch.
We have to stay tuned for these west coast Kentucky Derby prep races—especially the G2 San Felipe, which as you can see is shaping out to be one loaded race.
Santa Anita Park - February 19, 2012 - Race 7
Grade II San Vicente Stakes
Value of Race: $147,000 1st $90,000 2nd $30,0000, 3rd $18,000, 4th $9,000
Off at: 3:40 pm PST
|5||American Act||Martin Pedroza||$4.00||---|
|2||Creative Cause||Joel Rosario||---|
|1||Let's Get Crackin||Victor Espinoza|
Scratched Horses: Captain Obvious (IRE) and Smoking G