10/01/2011 7:03PM

Santa Anita: Creative Cause defeats Drill in Norfolk

Benoit & Associates
Creative Cause, with Joel Rosario riding, wins the Norfolk.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Creative Cause regained command of the California 2-year-old male division on Saturday with an impressive win in the Grade 1, $250,000 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita.

The victory led trainer Mike Harrington to plan for a start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

"If all goes well, we'll go to the Breeders' Cup," Harrington said in the winner's circle.
Creative Cause ($5.80) finished 3 1/4 lengths in front of Drill, the 3-5 favorite who was fourth in the first half of the race and could not threaten Creative Cause in the stretch.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Creative Cause stalked pacesetter Ruler of Dubai for the first six furlongs, engaged the leader on the turn, and took the lead in early stretch. Rosario, riding Creative Cause for the first time, said the colt was patient through the race.

"I didn't want to move early because it was his first time going long," Rosario said. "I asked him to run and I had a lot of horse. He passed that horse in front really quickly."

Creative Cause ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.66. Drill finished 3 1/4 lengths in front of Ruler of Dubai, who was followed by Basmati, Loukas, and Super Candy.

Drill was considered the leader of the 2-year-old male division going into the Norfolk, having won the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs last month. In that race, Creative Cause was the 9-10 favorite, but finished a troubled third, beaten a length.

After the Norfolk, trainer Bob Baffert regretted that jockey Martin Garcia had Drill about three lengths off the pace on the backstretch.

"The horse that won is a good horse and we gave him the race," Baffert said. "I think [Garcia] rode him with too much confidence. The winner is a good horse, and we'll have to improve off that."

Baffert indicated that Drill will start in the BC Juvenile.

"I learned a lot about this horse today and I see things where I'll make adjustments," Baffert said.

Creative Cause races for Heinz Steinmann. By Giant's Causeway, Creative Cause has won 3 of 4 starts and $293,000. He beat maidens in his debut at Hollywood Park on July 16 and won his stakes debut in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 7. The Del Mar Futurity is Creative Cause's only career loss.