Creative Cause retook the top spot among the California Derby contenders Saturday in the G2 San Felipe at Santa Anita.
The 1 1/16 mile race drew a field of 10, including two trainees from the hot Bob Baffert barn. Racing in a stalking position mid-pack, behind pacesetters American Act and Bodemeister, Creative Cause made his move under Joel Rosario coming off the turn. American Act faded, but Bodemeister held on through the stretch to get second. Midnight Transfer had an clear inside trip and threatened in deep stretch, but couldn't overtake the leaders. Liaison made a sharp mid-race move on the backstretch and closed for fourth. The final time was 1:41.84.
“The race set up perfect today," said winning rider Joel Rosario. "There were a couple horses with speed up
front, and when I saw that I just let him find his stride and go from there. My
horse was a little green at the top of the lane, but I wanted to make sure that
he didn’t wait for another horse to come beat him. He galloped out good
after the wire which helps to show he may be the right horse for the Derby. That means a lot to
me. I’m happy to get a chance to ride in it, and I want to win the race.
Mike (Harrington) doesn’t say too much, but he’s really smart, and
he’s done a really good job with this horse.”
Creative Cause was sent off the second choice, behind Bodemeister. He is trained by Mike Harrington for owner Heinz Steinman. The same owner/trainer combo sent out the highly-regarded Empire Way, who finished 9th.
The San Felipe is Creative Cause's first win of 2012, though he ran a solid 3rd in the San Vicente in February. He is sired by Giant's Causeway and looks to improve even more as the races stretch out. His probable next start is the G1 Santa Anita Derby before a run at the Kentucky Derby on May 5.