Racing News

Creative Cause set for sophomore bow in San Vicente

  • Creative Cause (Benoit Photos)

Grade 1 hero Creative Cause is scheduled to make his three-year-old debut on Sunday in Santa Anita's 71st running of the Grade 2, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes going seven furlongs. Freshened since running a close third behind Hansen and Union Rags in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on November 5, Creative Cause will face five challengers in the elongated sprint that has served as a launching pad for eight winners of the Kentucky Derby.

According to Mike Harrington, who trains Creative Cause for Heinz Steinmann, the gray son of Giant's Causeway is more than ready for his first test of 2012 that is likely to lead up to the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby stretching out to 1 1/8 miles on April 7.

"He's worked very nice," Harrington remarked. "He seems to be coming up to the race fine. I think he's on his game."

Jockey Joel Rosario, who has been aboard for Creative Cause's past two races, agreed with Harrington's assessment.

"He could be a little fresh coming off a layoff," Rosario allowed, "but he's a great horse, and I love to ride him."

Rosario first became acquainted with Creative Cause when they teamed up for a 3 1/4-length victory in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes prior to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. That race saw the pair forced three wide around the final turn, resulting in a one-length setback on the wire.

"His Breeders' Cup race was a good one," Rosario said. "I was impressed with it. Maybe he's the right horse for the Derby, who knows?"

Creative Cause won his first two starts sprinting, including Del Mar's Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes, but was subsequently roughed up in the stretch run of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. After crossing the finish line in third in that race, he was moved up to second following the disqualification of Majestic City, deemed responsible for the stretch-run bumping.

Drill came out a neck winner in the Del Mar Futurity, but wound up second in the Norfolk behind Creative Cause preceding a 10th-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The Lawyer Ron colt will take on his rival once again when lining up in the San Vicente for trainer Bob Baffert.

Drill needs a dramatic turnaround as he has not been able to reach the winner's circle in five starts since his victory in the Del Mar Futurity. Following his Breeders' Cup run, the bay was a well-beaten seventh in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot, ninth in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity and fifth in the San Pedro Stakes to start his sophomore season on January 22. He will be accompanied by regular rider Martin Garcia in Sunday's contest.

Maiden winner American Act could be a danger to Creative Cause in the San Vicente. Trained by Jack Carava, the Quiet American gelding did not break his maiden until his third start on January 16, but he did so stylishly by two lengths over Baffert's rapidly developing Bodemeister. It should be noted that Bodemeister returned last Saturday to romp home an easy 9 1/4-length winner going a mile at Santa Anita.

American Act ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.39 while taking his initial win under Martin Pedroza, and will keep that rider in the saddle on Sunday while making his stakes bow.

San Pedro third Let's Get Crackin and Captain Obvious, fourth in the Real Quiet Stakes in his U.S. debut last November, bring valuable stakes experience into the San Vicente. Smoking G, who will be trying black-type company and a conventional dirt surface for the first time, completes the field.

California Chrome Cruises to Victory in 140th Kentucky Derby before Crowd of 164,906

Steven Coburn and Perry Martin's favored California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza, took command at the head of the stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Commanding Curve to win the 140th running of the $2,202,800 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I). A sun-splashed crowd of 164,906, the second-largest attendance in Kentucky Derby history, watched California Chrome give jockey Victor Espinoza a second Derby victory to go with his triumph on War Emblem in 2002.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

Derby Week Concludes with Memorable Kentucky Derby 140 as California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit brisnet.com for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos

GET TO KNOW THE KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER CALIFORNIA CHROME (PRE-RACE BIO)

California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.