05/15/2012 2:33PM

Preakness 2012: Kentucky Derby disappointments can be overcome

Barbara D. Livingston
Creative Cause had clear aim on the leader in the Kentucky Derby but failed to get the job done.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bottom line is, Derby Day just wasn’t their day.

For a not-insignificant number of Preakness winners, the disappointment of their efforts two weeks beforehand in the Kentucky Derby sometimes has been difficult to rationalize. Some, such as Snow Chief (1986), Point Given (2001), and Lookin At Lucky (2010), were victimized by pace or trip. Others, such as Hansel (1991) and Tabasco Cat (1994), supposedly didn’t care for the Churchill Downs surface. Still others, such as Tank’s Prospect (1985) and Shackleford (2011), just plain weren’t good enough.

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Ten of the last 30 Preakness winners ran fourth or worse in the Derby, and yet all was forgiven and forgotten a couple of weeks later at Pimlico. Four starters in the 137th running of the Preakness on Saturday are in similar situations: Went the Day Well (fourth in the Derby), Creative Cause (fifth), Daddy Nose Best (10th), and Optimizer (11th).

Of those, Creative Cause and Daddy Nose Best probably best fit the profile of the Derby disappointer: Both were highly regarded coming into the race, being sent away at respective odds of 11-1 and 14-1, and both have shown themselves capable of faring better. (Conversely, Went the Day Well has been drawing post-Derby praise for a stout closing effort while outrunning his odds of 30-1, while Optimizer, a 42-1 shot, appears to wheel back on little more than hope and a prayer.)

In the Derby, Creative Cause had every opportunity to run down Bodemeister and fend off I’ll Have Another. Approaching the eighth pole, Creative Cause had dead aim, but it was I’ll Have Another, and not him, who finished strongly to prevail, with Creative Cause finishing three lengths behind him.

“I thought my horse ran great,” Mike Harrington, trainer of Creative Cause, said Tuesday from California. “He covered more ground than any horse in the race,” which is verified by Trakus data. Indeed, Creative Cause, very wide on the final turn, ran 6,709 feet, farther than any other and 29 more feet than I’ll Have Another.

“He came out of the race great, so we thought why not take a shot,” added Harrington. “My only fear is that there doesn’t look like there’s a lot of speed in there [to challenge Bodemeister], so it may be a merry-go-round race. But obviously we fit and we’re going to give it a try.”

Daddy Nose Best, whose training moves leading up to the Derby made him something of a “wise guy” horse, was never close in the race, racing in mid-pack throughout, finishing 11 1/2 lengths behind the winner.

“It was a huge disappointment,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “He was completely jerked off the bridle by the pace that Bodemeister set.” Otherwise, he added, “He had a good trip. No excuses.”

Based on a number of factors – including a victory in the Sunland Derby, as well as how he trained at Churchill before and after the Derby – Daddy Nose Best is being given the benefit of the doubt by Asmussen, who has won two of the last five runnings of the Preakness with Curlin (2007) and Rachel Alexandra (2009).

“He came out of his race very well, and he’s a very good 3-year-old,” he said.

Given the ample precedents that exist, it’s proven that the Preakness can be won by the Derby winner, or its second- or third-place finisher, or even a “new shooter.” But it can also be won by a Derby also-ran who just didn’t put his best foot forward at Churchill.

“Just because you don’t finish in the money in one race doesn’t mean you can’t win the next one,” said Dale Romans, who won the Preakness last year with Shackleford, fourth in the Derby. “It happens every single day in racing, so it makes sense that it can happen in these two races, too.”

– additional reporting by Byron King

Holdouts More than 1 year ago
I think I am playing $50 exacta box CC/IHA. Bode looks like a mile is his distance.
Morris More than 1 year ago
what kind of odds can i get, if i bet there is a tc winner before the year 20-20& that bob baffert is the winning trainer. are there any gamblers in the house???
Joe Brimhall More than 1 year ago
There seems to be a lot of negative comments directed toward Creative Cause. If I am not mistaken. CC blew by Bodemeisteri in the San Felipe. He ran a credible second by a nost to IHA in the Santa Anita derby and he was wide in the derby and ran a credible 5th. He will be my bet in the Preakness.
st More than 1 year ago
CC blew by Bodemeister but since it was Bodemeister's 2nd career start it really isn't that impressive. CC blinkers on, off , on, off, on,,isn't the horse for the preakness, his connections have no idea with him CC is a bettter Belmont pick than preakness pick
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
It was the 3rd career start, and CC was giving 5 pounds. The fast pace in the Derby helped Bode, and the ground loss sunk CC. Here's why: San Felipe: CC gave 5-lb, we'll assume 5-lb is 2.75L for 8.5f race. Splits are 23s and 47s, at the top of the stretch Bode was only 1.5L in front. CC finished 0.75L in front of Bode despite traveling 24ft longer that day (about 3L). Overall - CC was 6.5L better than Bode in the San Felipe. He was able to get up despite the ground loss and the weight because the slow splits keep him in contact. Kentucky Derby: Equal weight. Splits are 22.3s and 45.4s, as a result at the top of the stretch Bode was 5L in front. CC finished 1.25L behind Bode but traveled 70ft longer that day (about 8.25L). Overall - CC was 7L better than Bode in the Kentucky Derby. The 70ft of ground loss was way too much to overcome. The breakneck splits actually helped Bode to be 5L ahead of CC at the top of the stretch. CC appeared to be toiling but managed to close the gap to 1.25L at the finish. Tenacious bugger! I still think IHA is the real deal and should win the Preakness. To those who think that Bode is a lock for the top 2 spots, think again!
tony pies More than 1 year ago
look for barry, graham, johnny to pick up some crab cake money...... line starts behind me....
st More than 1 year ago
Is the preakness being run on turf or poly this year?? then maybe i'll be in the went the day well line.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Let's be nice to Tony and assume that WTDW turned the table on IHA and Bode. Let's also assume that CC is a spent horse. Then WTDW should finish second in the Preakness. Teeth of the Dog wins the Preakness!! He beat WTDW by almost 2L in a 9f race at Gulfstream. Surely we cannot assume that all 4 horses misfired on the same day right? Not to mention Zetterholm with the Dutrow juice and the fast closing Optimizer.
Gazehound Soto More than 1 year ago
I don't remember the first mile of Point Given... I know I'll Have Another make 1:40 for 1 1/16 and He only know WIN in two turns... I'll Have Another need Win over Secretariat , to the horse race fans trust in he... Creative Cause are going to run the big race to the second place following I'll Have Another....
st More than 1 year ago
I dont think Creative Cause knows how to pass a horse therefore I don't see CC running a race better than second. CC is a follower not a leader and a big time sucker horse for winning wagering purposes
Stuart More than 1 year ago
I thought that too and then I went backed and watched C Cause pass Bodemeister in the San Felipe.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
He also stopped and posed for cameras.
Jose Fulgado More than 1 year ago
you look very bitter about CC, seems like you bet him on the derby
st More than 1 year ago
Monarchos SECOND FASTEST DERBY EVER!!! so Point Given needed to run a time basically as fast or faster than Secretarait.... give up the ghost with Point Given. Point Given sucked on May 5,2001 and too bad its the only day that matters in terms of history to this horse. He was a stellar horse in the preakness and belmont, dont get me wrong,,,but The Derby excuses are lame,,,10 out 10 times Monarchos wins the Derby on May 5, 2011
David Sias More than 1 year ago
Could not disagree with you more on this.
st More than 1 year ago
You should contact Churchill Downs,,and see if they will takedown the plaque for 2001 Monarchos and replace it with Point Fifth Given. Honestly, Point given was a stellar horse, but people making excuses for FIFTH place sickens me,,,its been 11 years,,give up the ghost,,see the light,, MONARCHOS was most stellar on May 5,2001 when it Counted Pace makes the race and Bob Baffert/Gary Stevens could have adjusted to it if they had a championship horse but Point Given was no derby champion
Ian King More than 1 year ago
I've had redemption with my Derby picks in the Preakness in previous years! Hansel, Pine Bluff, Louis Quatorize, Tabasca Cat, Timber Country, Afleet Alex, Curlin and most recently Shackleford! If i am to repeat this year, I will be counting on none other than Creative Cause my Derby pick! Let's go C.C the best is yet to come, show them the way home!
OwenJ More than 1 year ago
i say this so often that some may think I am just a CC fan. Trakus has proven me correct and Creative Cause is going to at leat beat Bodemeister. If IHA beats him he has a right to become racing's long-awaited Triple Crown winner. Very early in the season I predicted the demise of Union Rags and Hansen as Derby prospects. I am absolutely sure Creative Cause is a champion and will win the Preakness. I just hope the trainer refits CC with blinkers. He showed more spunk while wearning them.
Peggs Wathen More than 1 year ago
I think the traveling will be his undoing in the Preakness....besides IHA has beatin him on-the-square twice now....Jockey was w-a-i-t-i-n-g on CC in the SA Derby, then beat him in the stretch !!! IHA is the Rodney Dangerfield of this-yrs # yr old crop !!! CC beats Bode......IHA beats CC (Bode leaves town)....IHA beats BOTH in the KY Derby (and I believe will do it again Saturday !!!)
Jose Fulgado More than 1 year ago
100 percent agree
julien richards More than 1 year ago
I am so sick and tired of trainers making an excuse for their horses when they fail to finish the way they expected and then saying " but I have no excuses". They don't seem to notice that they just made an excuse.
st More than 1 year ago
I'm tired of excuses for Point Given in 2001,,,sorry Monarchos was a better horse BY FAR that day
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Ha Ha Haaaaaa Your So Full Of It ! Not even close
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Im the One that ought to be really upset with myself reguarding POINT GIVEN in the 2001 Kentucky Derby . I spent $1,026 by Wheeling POINT GIVEN 1st , 2nd , 3rd in my 1 Trifecta Wheels . One of my loses in the Derby that I just couldnt believe not finishing in the Money . I still believe today , that I played the right Colt . The Best Colt . My Colt just didnt shine the first Saturday in May that year .
raymond More than 1 year ago
Tough beat Douglas, Point Given is a Champion and was given a terrible ride, in my opinion. Sorry for your loss.
D More than 1 year ago
You played the right horse, Stevens says that Point Given was the best horse he's ridden and it was his fault for rushing up too soon in the Derby. Monarchos was the #2 horse on 1 1/8 plus final 1/8 times before the Derby, still the Point should've won with a better ride.
Stuart More than 1 year ago
Point Given was a stalker, not a one run closer. Given the pace that day, PG either had to take way back and make one run, or get caught up in the pace and finish behind his stablemate who had more stamina to carry speed (Congaree). Even Baffert said Congaree could run FASTER LONGER than PG. PG and Stevens chose to run his normal race in the Derby and he was eaten alive by the pace but still finished well behind Congaree in 5th and Songandaprayer finished near the back of the pack. PG proved he was a great horse but the Derby set up for a CLOSER like Monarchos. Pace makes the race!
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
Point Given couldn't close? Watch the Juvenile. He could close like a freight train. It just wasn't his day. My biggest disappointment in racing besides A P Indy being scratched from the Derby.
st More than 1 year ago
should have wheeled INVISIBLE INK!! INK wheels cashed on Derby 2001 and took all the suckers that bet POINT GIVEN that day
raymond More than 1 year ago
Excuse r like 'A' holes, we all got one, lol
ElRatonColorao More than 1 year ago
Agree - Monarchos was very deserving winner of Derby that year. Just look at his FL Derby win and Good second to loose on lead Congaree in short field Wood that year. Also - Monarchos was later found to have an undetected injury that probably happened in Preakness, which explains his lackluster efforts and also why he was put on shelf after Belmont.