Grade 1 Norfolk hero Creative Cause drilled six furlongs in a bullet 1:11 2/5 at Hollywood Park on Sunday, posting the fastest of 17 works at the distance on the Cushion Track. Third in the November 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile in his latest venture, the Mike Harrington trainee will open his three-year-old campaign in next Sunday's Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.
"He worked very nice," Harrington said. "He seems to be coming up to the race fine."
Sunday's move was his fourth straight going six furlongs. Two have been bullets, with the previous one being a 1:11 3/5 work on January 28, fastest of 20 at the distance that day.
Jockey Joel Rosario is counting down to post time for the seven-furlong San Vicente, a race he hopes will lead to greater glory on the Triple Crown trail, including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7 and beyond.
"I haven't worked him, but he's been working good," Rosario said. "He's a nice horse and I'm sure he's doing good.
"It looks like he could be a little fresh coming off a layoff, but he's a great horse and I love to ride him. His Breeders' Cup race was a good one. I was impressed with it. Maybe he's the right horse for the Derby, who knows?"
Owned by Heinz Steinmann, Creative Cause won his first two starts, including the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar. The gray son of Giant's Causeway suffered his first loss in a rough Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, where he was promoted to second via disqualification.
Rosario picked up the mount for his 3 1/4-length victory in the October 1 Norfolk at Santa Anita, and was back aboard for his third, beaten only a length, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.
Creative Cause could meet familiar foe Drill, the Del Mar Futurity winner and Norfolk runner-up, in the San Vicente.
Drill worked five furlongs on Santa Anita's fast main track Sunday in 1:02, but trainer Bob Baffert was still non-committal on whether the son of Lawyer Ron would run.
Tenth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Drill has finished unplaced in his three subsequent starts as well, most recently checking in fifth as the favorite in the January 22 San Pedro.