Following up a smashing debut victory with
another impressive win in Sunday’s $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (Grade II) at Del Mar, Creative Cause has
emerged as the top two-year-old in the country for trainer Mike Harrington and
owner Heinz Steinmann.
After speeding to nearly a five-length
wire-to-wire victory three weeks ago in his maiden breaking score at Hollywood
Park that earned him a 98 Beyer, the grey/roan son of long-distance specialist
Giant’s Causeway sat off the pace in his stakes debut before swinging out at
the top of the stretch under Rafael Bejarano and cruising to nearly a
two-length victory while stopping the clock just a few ticks off the six and
half furlong track record in 1:15.3.
“That’s exactly where I wanted him. He ran
exactly the race I wanted him to run,” said Harrington, who could breathe a
sigh of relief after his colt was sent off as the 4-to-5 odds-on favorite. “I
didn’t like it at all. I was a nervous wreck.”
Purchased as a yearling for $135,000 from
the Keeneland September sale last year, Creative Cause is the first of three current
two-year-olds to debut for connections that are best known for campaigning the
California-bred Swiss Yodeler, who won the Best Pal in 1996, and his progeny.
“It’s really special because Mr. Steinmann
stepped up and spent a lot of money for three really nice horses,” said
Harrington. “I might have a couple of more that are better than this horse. We’re
After breaking from the rail and setting
the early pace, 6-to-1 third choice I’ll Have Another held on for the place while
Mighty Monsoon closed from last to earn the show as the longest shot in the
field at 14-to-1.
Bob Baffert’s duo of Brigand and Night
Tide disappointed and had to settle for fourth and fifth respectively in the
field of six.
If all goes well, the next step for
Creative Cause is the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity (Grade I) run over seven
furlongs on closing day September 7, a “Win and You’re In” race for the
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I).
The Futurity is likely to produce a show
down with previous division leader Majestic
City, who is also undefeated and captured a pair of stakes at
Hollywood Park, but could be the only time these
two would meet for the foreseeable future.
Creative Cause is bred to go two turns
while Majestic City will likely move forward in shorter
races and point towards the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint.
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