Updated on 03/12/2012 5:57PM

Santa Anita: Creative Cause, Bodemeister likely to meet again in Santa Anita Derby

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Benoit & Associates
Creative Cause and jockey Joel Rosario (left) pull away from Bodemeister, with Rafael Bejarano up (right), to win the San Felipe Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita. Creative Cause (102) broke the triple-digit Beyer mark for the first time in his career in the win.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Creative Cause and Bodemeister, the one-two finishers in the San Felipe Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, are expected to meet again in the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7, but that race will not include Fed Biz, who on Monday was pulled from the Kentucky Derby trail by his trainer, Bob Baffert.

Fed Biz missed the San Felipe with a hind-end issue, and is still not moving to Baffert’s satisfaction. So, he is out of the running for the May 5 Kentucky Derby.

“I’m taking him off the Derby trail,” Baffert said from Ocala, Fla., where he is attending the sale of 2-year-olds in training. “I took him back to the track, and he’s still not comfortable. I’m going to stop on him. He’s got a hind-end issue. We can’t find it, but something’s nagging him. I’m going to give him some time off.”

In the San Felipe, Creative Cause, who earned a 102 Beyer Figure, took a step forward off his comeback race last month in the San Vicente, which is what trainer Mike Harrington intended.

“It’s a progression,” Harrington said. “The only thing I hope is he doesn’t peak in the Santa Anita Derby instead of the Kentucky Derby. That’s my job to kind of keep that from happening.”

Bodemeister was a game second in his third start and his stakes debut.

“He was real tired after the race,” Baffert said. “He’ll move way up off that.”

The San Felipe was the most significant of several races run last weekend with Derby implications.

At Gulfstream Park on Sunday, Howe Great and Dullahan ran one-two in the Palm Beach Stakes on turf, and they will both now head to the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes on Polytrack at Keeneland on April 14. Dullahan won the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last fall.

“I was very pleased with his race,” said Dale Romans, the trainer of Dullahan, who was making his first start of the year. “It was a perfect race for a comeback. He finished good. I just wanted to see him finish. The winner is a quality horse. This sets us up good to go on to the Blue Grass.”

The Blue Grass field also could include Prospective, who captured the Tampa Bay Derby with an 88 Beyer on Saturday. Mark Casse, the trainer of Prospective, on Monday said Prospective would have his final Kentucky Derby prep in either the Blue Grass or the Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 7.

“He’s going to ship to Kentucky next week,” Casse said from the Ocala sale. “We’re going to see how things play out before deciding which race to run in. The Blue Grass is three weeks out. I’d rather have four. But I don’t know if I feel like putting him on a plane to go to New York and face Hansen.”

Casse did say that one of the allures of the Wood is that Monarchos used that as his final prep before his victory in the 2001 Kentucky Derby. Monarchos, trained by John Ward Jr., was owned by John Oxley, who owns Prospective.

“Mr. Oxley has had good luck going to Wood, so we’ve got to keep that in mind,” Casse said.

Trinniberg, who won the Swale Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream, is under consideration for the Grade 3, $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne on April 7, according to owner, Shivananda Parbhoo whose father, Bisnath Parboo, trains Trinniberg. The Swale winner earned a 99 Beyer Figure.

“I still don’t know how far he’ll go,” Parbhoo said. “If we decide to try any of the Derby preps, it would likely be the Illinois Derby. It doesn’t make any sense to run him against the horses here like Union Rags in the Florida Derby.”

The Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream on March 31 is where Take Charge Indy is being re-routed after being scratched from the Tampa Bay Derby, according to his trainer, Patrick Byrne.

“I have no regrets about not having run him in there,” Byrne said of the Tampa Bay Derby, in which Take Charge Indy likely would have been the favorite. “He’s doing fine. I’ll probably work him again next weekend. Pat Byrne is not the type of trainer who likes to overwork his horses like some others do. He’s fit and ready to go.”

The filly On Fire Baby, who won the Honeybee with a 99 Beyer on Saturday at Oaklawn, will come back in either the Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy Stakes for fillies on April 11, or face males in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 14, according to her trainer, Gary Hartlage.

On Fire Baby has plenty of graded cash because, under the conditions of the Derby, races restricted to fillies are treated the same as an open race.

This coming week, the richest Derby prep is the Grade 2, $500,000 Rebel Stakes on Saturday at Oaklawn, featuring Secret Circle, who won a division of last month’s Southwest Stakes, and the 2012 debut of Delta Jackpot winner Sabercat.

But also of significant interest is a one-mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Friday that drew Currency Swap, last year’s Hopeful winner, and Gemologist, last year’s winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Like Sabercat, both Currency Swap and Gemologist will be making their first starts of the year. Gemologist had been pointing to the Rebel before the Gulfstream allowance race came up.

– additional reporting by Mary Rampellini and Mike Welsch

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would not be too concern about the toughness in BODEMEISTER in the SANTA ANITA DERBY ! As long as CREATIVE CAUSE stays healthy and fit , there doesnt seem to be ANY CONTENDER on the West coast that compares . Just Stop Day Dreamin . My Gosh , LOOK at the Grade Level that CREATIVE CAUSE has raced up against . It would take a 85% CREATIVE CAUSE to lose the SANTA ANITA DERBY . And that my friend you probably wont see . ANY ONE will be hoping to grab share of the Nice Pay-Out P L A C E Earnings ! BODEMEISTER , I am here to say , not a very smart move to run him here in the SANTA ANITA DERBY so soon in his unprofessional career . Dont Ruin This Powerful Colt By Getting GREEDY . This COLT Could WIN The PREAKNESS In A Wonderful Fashion as Maybe The Likes Of UNION RAGS - HANSEN - CREATIVE CAUSE May Be Abit Leg Weary After the KENTUCKY DERBY ...................... Come on BODE , talk to dad , and find a more suitable PREP RACE for BODEMEISTER to take him straight to the PREAKNESS ......... Could Run Faster In The PREAKNESS Than LOOKIN AT LUCKY Did
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think we'll see Prospective, Golden Ticket, Battle Hardened, Howe Great and Dullahan in the Bluegrass.