01/31/2017 11:41PM

Bergman: Creatine has all the tools to be a top sire

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Derick Giwner
Creatine won the Kentucky Futurity in 2013 at the Red Mile.

Breeding standardbreds is far from a proven science. Pedigree, conformation and performance on the racetrack are the primary indicators of a horse’s capabilities. Yet none collectively grant success as a sire.

“It’s almost impossible to predict a sire,” said Mike Lachance, the now retired Hall of Fame driver who piloted 2017 first-year stallion Creatine during the core years of the trotter’s racing career.

“He was a perfect horse,” said Lachance of Creatine. “He was a big, strong horse. Maybe not the best leaving the gate, but a beautiful horse.”

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Lachance, not willing to step out on a limb to declare one of his horses a lock at stud, goes way back.

“I thought Matts Scooter would be a great sire,” Lachance said. While the champion didn’t achieve the same heights as a stallion as he did on a racetrack, he still had an amazing impact on the business as the grand sire of Somebeachsomewhere, arguably the best pacing stallion of these times.

Unlike Matts Scooter or Somebeachsomewhere, Creatine enters stud duty with a few more years on the racetrack and International experience.

“He was a late bloomer,” said Lachance, noting that the son of Andover Hall needed time to mature and grow into himself. “Bobby (Stewart, trainer) had him good at Lexington in the fall as a 2-year-old and you could see what kind of horse he could be.”

At 3, Creatine was a mainstay at the top of a contentious class of trotters. He took an elimination of the Hambletonian and later went on to capture the 2013 Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile. He would also finish second in the Breeders Crown contested over the five-eighths track at Pocono.

Creatine completed his 3-year-old season with a 17-8-5-1 scorecard and more than $800,000 in earnings.

As a 4-year-old Creatine had the misfortune of having to come out ready for battle. The cards were incredibly stacked against him in 2014 with the arrival of the seasoned world traveler Sebastian K to the aged ranks. The experience as a freshman and sophomore gave Creatine preparation, but there was simply no way to fit in against older, faster and tougher competition. Nevertheless, as he had done in his prior two years of racing, Creatine came to life towards the end of his 4-year-old campaign and rattled off some impressive miles. Perhaps the biggest moment of his racing career again took place at the Red Mile, where Creatine overtook Sebastian K right on the wire to capture the Allerage Farm Trot in a 1:51 2/5 mile.

He proved the Allerage victory was for real with a commanding 1:51 3/5 effort six days later in the American National Stake at Balmoral Park.

Creatine put in a huge performance in the Breeders Crown but had to settle for third in an epic mile set forth by Commander Crowe on that frigid night in November at The Meadowlands. Creatine returned a week later and won the duel with Sebastian K to reach the stretch but couldn’t stall the fast closing Intimidate or Market Share in the TVG Final.

Clearly at the end of his 4-year-old season Creatine had a more imposing presence in perhaps one of the best crop of aged horses the sport has seen in the last generation. As a 5-year-old Creatine campaigned overseas primarily under the Jimmy Takter stable and came back to North America to capture the Breeders Crown at Woodbine after a third-place finish in the $1 Million International Trot at Yonkers.

On the pedigree front, Creatine brings the blood of Andover Hall to the next generation. Andover Hall’s son Donato Hanover has already paved the way, producing some greats especially the fillies Shake It Cerry and Check Me Out. Andover Hall’s full brothers, Conway Hall and Angus Hall, have both been successful sires as well, with the former responsible for Triple Crown champion Windsongs Legacy, likely to be a champion stallion if not for his untimely premature passing. Windsongs Legacy’s Chapter Seven is already off to a very fast start as a stallion with first year champion Walner. Angus Hall has had a solid presence in Ontario and made a huge splash with the sensational mare Peaceful Way.

Creatine stands at Diamond Creek Farm for a fee of $6,000.

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