Creative Cause Solidifies That He Belongs on the Triple Crown Trail
When talking about the two-year-old crop of 2011, two names come to mind, Union Rags and Hansen. And after their hair rising duel in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, the two deserve the credit they get. But one horse is often forgotten when thinking back to the BC Juvenile and the hype before the race.
Creative Cause was the jewel of California for most of the fall last year.
The gray Giant’s Causeway won his maiden by 4 3/4 lengths in mid-July before coming back in August to notch a G2 win in the Best Pal Stakes. The colt suffered his first defeat to Bob Baffert’s Drill in the G1 Del Mar Futurity but came back in the G1 Norfolk Stakes with a 3 1/4 length victory over his rival before heading to Churchill Downs.
The colt took on the two biggest two-year-olds of the year in the Juvenile, finishing third but he only lost by a length to the first two finishers, beating the rest of the field by five lengths. The loss seemed to kill the hype for Creative Cause and his second to last place finish in the four-horse G2 San Vicente on Feb. 19 solidified the horse’s detractors.
However, the colt proved on March 10 in the San Felipe that he may still be a forced to be reckoned with.
In arguably the strongest Kentucky Derby prep of the weekend, if not the strongest so far this year, Creative Cause took on some of the strongest three-year-olds of this crop. The race attracted a field of ten, including four stakes winners, stakes placed Empire Way, and highly touted Bodemeister.
The field would be no match for the Giant’s Causeway colt as he stalked the pace before going five wide around the turn and sweeping past Bodemeister to win by 3/4 length in deep stretch. The gray gave five pounds to Bodemeister and third place finisher Midnight Transfer.
The next start for Creative Cause is the Santa Anita Derby. The colt already has enough graded earnings to make the Kentucky Derby field and trainer Mike Harrington looks to keep the colt progressing for a peak in the Derby.
“I said all along it’s a progression and the only thing I hope is he doesn’t peak in the Santa Anita Derby instead of the Kentucky Derby. That’s my job to kind of keep that from happening. I felt he would run big off the San Vicente. A lot of people thought the San Vicente was a bad race. I was ecstatic with it," Harrington told Bloodhorse.com.
With his impressive race this weekend, Creative Cause has made his way back into the list of top contenders for the Kentucky Derby.
And for those worried about Creative Cause getting the distance of the Triple Crown races?
His sire is Giant’s Causeway, a son of Storm Cat who finished second in the 1 1/4 mile Breeder’s Cup Classic and won multiple G1 turf races at 10f in Europe.
Creative Cause’s dam graded stakes winner Dream of Summer won stakes multiple races at 1 1/16 miles in addition to finishing second in two G1 1 1/8 mile races. Her sire Siberian Summer also won the G1 1 1/4 mile Strub Stakes in 1993, bringing in long distance running on both sides of the horses’ pedigree.
Creative Cause may have lost to the two biggest two-year-olds in the Juvenile last year, but it looks like the colt may go off as one of the bettors’ favorites on the first Saturday in May.
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