09/02/2011 3:50PM

Del Mar: Creative Cause ready for Del Mar Futurity after group work

Shigeki Kikkawa
Creative Cause wins the Best Pal Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – The unbeaten 2-year-old Creative Cause worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 under jockey Rafael Bejarano on Friday, his final major exercise before Wednesday’s $250,000 Del Mar Futurity.

The workout was part of a scripted scenario where trainer Mike Harrington gave Creative Cause two stablemates as targets.

Creative Cause began the workout at the five-furlong pole in pursuit of Nebikon and Swiss Lightning, with about five lengths separating each runner. In early stretch, the two pacesetters were alongside each other, with Creative Cause within three lengths. Racing on the rail, Creative Cause took the lead nearing the finish line and worked a furlong past the wire, going clear of Swiss Lightning, who was timed in 1:13.60. Nebikon worked only five furlongs in 1:02.40.

Harrington said the workmates helped keep Creative Cause focused.

“He won’t work alone,” Harrington said. “He’ll work, but he’s not a good work horse.”

Bejarano said Creative Cause finished with energy in reserve.

“I didn’t try to use him too much,” he said.

Unbeaten in two starts for owner Heinz Steinmann, Creative Cause won a maiden race over five furlongs by 4 3/4 lengths at Hollywood Park on July 16 and won his stakes debut in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs here Aug. 7. The Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity is run over seven furlongs and is the feature on the closing day of the meeting.

In the Best Pal Stakes, Creative Cause closed from fifth in a field of six to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Friday’s workout was Creative Cause’s second since the Best Pal Stakes. He worked a half-mile in 48.40 seconds on Aug. 18. Asked if he was pleased with Creative Cause’s preparation for the Del Mar Futurity, Harrington said, “How could I not be?”

Creative Cause is part of a field of at least seven in the Del Mar Futurity, including Majestic City, winner of two stakes at Hollywood Park in June and July. Other probable starters are Basmati, Drill, Mighty Monsoon, and Sheer Talent.

On Friday, Sheer Talent, winner of a maiden race in his debut July 30, worked five furlongs in 1:01. Mighty Monsoon, third in the Best Pal Stakes, worked a half-mile in 47.20.

Hollywood reopens main track for training

Hollywood Park reopened its Cushion Track synthetic surface for training Saturday after the surface underwent a scheduled renovation in late July and into August, racing secretary Martin Panza said.

During the renovation, a carpet-like material at the bottom of the surface was cleaned of wax, and the material on the bottom half of the surface was brought to the top, Panza said.

“We flipped it over,” he said. “We did this two years ago.”

Panza said that the process of cleaning the carpet at the bottom of the surface helps to improve drainage.

“Otherwise, the wax gets down to the pad and it blocks drainage,” he said.

Hollywood Park expects to house 1,300 to 1,400 horses this fall, Panza said. The track’s fall meeting runs from Nov. 10 to Dec. 18.

All Star Heart to join stakes ranks in Palomar

All Star Heart, the brave winner of an allowance race here July 28, will make her stakes debut in Monday’s $150,000 Palomar Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Trained by Ron McAnally, All Star Heart has won two consecutive races since she slipped and fell entering the stretch of an allowance race on turf at Santa Anita in February. On July 28, All Star Heart weaved her way through traffic to win an optional claimer over a mile on turf.

The Grade 2 Palomar Handicap is expected to include Andina and City to City, who were first and third in the restricted Osunitas Stakes here July 23.