2012 Kentucky Derby Analysis Week 4: The San Vicente Stakes

Dan AdamsCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2012

Drill winning the San Vicente Stakes from Santa Anita
Drill winning the San Vicente Stakes from Santa Anita

The 71st running of the $150,000 GII—San Vicente Stakes resulted in a thrilling victory by Bob Baffert trainee, Drill ($9.60). Jockey Martin Garcia timed his ride perfectly and Drill caught the front-running American Act to win for the first time since the G1—Del Mar Futurity last Summer.

It's been nine ten years since trainer Bob Baffert's three-year-old War Emblem crossed the finish line first in the 2002 Kentucky Derby.  Could it be that a decade later, the drought will end for the unlucky Baffert. This past Sunday, the once highly thought of two-year-old, turned three-year-old Drill, may have given Baffert a lot to look forward to in Kentucky.

Drill, a three-year-old dark bay colt by Lawyer Ron out of the Storm Cat mare Cat Dancer won for the third time in his career (9-3-1-0). He will likely be pointed to the Santa Anita Derby for his next start.

The clear odds-on favorite in the four horse field was Creative Cause (1-2) who had both been beaten by Drill and defeated Drill as a two-year-old. It was clear that Creative Cause was continuing to improve as he moved on to the Breeders Cup Juvenile and finished third behind Hansen and Union Rags. His first start in three months was not a bad one, and he only finished a length behind both Drill and American Act. It was really a poor ride by jockey Joel Rosario in the small field. He got the horse stuck more than four wide on the turn and was never able to reel in the front running duo. It was clear that in the final yards, Creative Cause wanted to run longer, and he could definitely improve in his second start off the layoff for trainer Mike Harrington next time out.

Second-place finisher American Act (3-1) was cleverly ridden by the front-running specialist Martin Pedroza, he saved ground the entire way around the track,slowed the pace enough that he had some left in the tank, and nearly pulled it off. It will be interesting to see where trainer Jack Carava points his three-year-old ,by Quiet American, for his next start.



Drill -                   $9.60   $5.00

American Act -                $4.00

Creative Cause -

EXACTA: $38.80

TRIFECTA: $59.80





It's tough to say with such a small field. These horses didn't face many obstacles like most horses do in the Kentucky Derby, and the horse I was honestly most impressed by was Creative Cause. I am not sad that the horse lost, but he came on late which could be a sign that he does want to run longer. He has the breeding to continue running better at longer distance as does Drill. It will be interesting to see if we get a rematch in the Santa Anita Derby between these three runners. I would lean towards Creative Cause if I were to see them all run against each other again.


The GIII Southwest (Div.1 and Div.2) from Sunland Park - Look for the recap coming soon!