With January drawing to a close and February upon us, the importance of keeping up with potential Kentucky Derby horses grows. Today is another in a series that we call “Derby Hopefuls”. This edition will focus on getting to know a little bit about Creative Cause.
Creative Cause is a thoroughbred owned by Heinz Steinmann and trained by Mike Harrington. He was bred in Kentucky by James Weigel and found his way to Steinmann through a consignor in a private sale last March. Steinmann bought the horse without ever having put his eyes on him, simply relying on word of mouth and the thoroughbred’s strong lineage. Creative Cause’s sire was Giant’s Causeway and he was foaled out of Dream of Summer, a mare with a strong three-year career, with multiple victories.
In five 2011 starts, Creative Cause posted three wins, including a competitive third place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic for juvenile males in November. In his first three races, he was ridden by veteran jockey Rafael Bejarno, who took him to two wins, one in his debut at Hollywood Park in a six-furlong maiden special weight race and the other in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes, a 6 1/2 furlong event at Del Mar. In his third race, he moved up another half furlong and ran strong. He finished third, but after a review, was granted second place as he was bumped.
For his final two races of 2011, the saddle was handed over to Joel Rosario, a promising young jockey who would see Creative Cause rise to be a real contender for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Stretched to a mile and 1/16 at Santa Anita, Creative Cause ran in the Grade I Norfolk Stakes and was most impressive. He wasn’t pushed until the final quarter mile and cruised to victory without ever being seriously challenged, posting a time of 1:42.66. The next effort for the gray colt would be a dramatic step forward in competition as he would be running in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes. Throughout the race Creative Cause had no trouble keeping up with the front of the pack, as he moved between the third and fourth positions for most of the race. At the final turn he made a move and pushed front-runner Hansen, but he didn’t have enough to overtake him or hold off a charging Union Rags. He finished a close third and cemented his place as an Eclipse Award nominee, along with the aforementioned Union Rags and Hansen.
Creative Cause will likely make his three-year-old debut at Santa Anita in the San Vicente Stakes on February 19th. After that, he could run as many as two more races, including the Santa Anita Derby, before the main event at Churchill Downs in May.
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