Updated on 03/14/2012 1:59PM

Santa Anita: Creative Cause outduels Bodemeister in San Felipe Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Creative Cause (left) outfinishes Bodemeister on his way to a three-quarter-length victory in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Creative Cause, back at the same distance and over the same track at which he won the Norfolk Stakes last fall, cemented his position as the West Coast’s leading contender for the May 5 Kentucky Derby with a determined victory over Bodemeister in the Grade 2, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Under jockey Joel Rosario, Creative Cause sat in a perfect stalking position during the first six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile race, engaged Bodemeister at the top of the stretch, and demonstrated his superiority in the final yards to win by three-quarters of a length in this key prep for next month’s Santa Anita Derby.

Midnight Transfer, just behind and inside of Creative Cause on the final turn, ran on for third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Bodemeister.

Liaison was fourth and was followed, in order, by Rousing Sermon, Blingo, American Act, Tiz Point, Empire Way, and Groovin’ Solo in the field of 10.

Creative Cause completed 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:41.84. The win was his fourth in seven starts, and he has never finished worse than third. In addition to his Norfolk win here in October, Creative Cause also was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile behind two of the nation’s other top Derby prospects, Hansen and Union Rags. He tuned up for the San Felipe with a deceptively good third-place finish going seven furlongs in the San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 19, in which he ran his final three furlongs in approximately 35.20 seconds and galloped out powerfully.

Creative Cause ($6.40), owned by Heinz Steinmann, was sent off the slight second choice behind Bodemeister, whose romping maiden victory last month propelled him to favoritism at exactly 2-1. But the experience and maturity of Creative Cause won out. He was far more becalmed in the paddock prior to the race than Bodemeister, perhaps because of an audible trainer Mike Harrington called Saturday morning.

“He schooled yesterday, and on his way back to the barn, he got tough,” Harrington said. “So I schooled him again this morning, and he was better.”

And Creative Cause was better in the race, too. While Bodemeister was keen to go after pacesetting American Act through fractions of 22.95 for the opening quarter-mile and 46.98 for a half-mile, Creative Cause loped along in fifth place, on the outside and in the clear, waiting for Rosario to turn him loose.

“I thought I was going to win easy,” Rosario said, “but the other horse came back.”

Indeed, Bodemeister ran a huge race in defeat, considering this was only his third lifetime start.

“He ran incredibly well,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “It was a hot pace. I thought that was the best prep we’ve seen so far.”

Both Creative Cause and Bodemeister are expected to come back in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7.

OwenJ More than 1 year ago
My Derby top five: Creative Cause; Gemologist; Take Charge Indy; Union Rags and I'll Have Another or Bodemeister. I expect the Derby Winner to come from the top three with the biggest danger to CC being Gemologist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Any one of the BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE runners from last year have a huge advantage leading up to the KENTUCKY DERBY . A Person that wants to really make some serious money in the DERBY can really narrow out this years DERBY . The Top TWO FINISHERS in the KENTUCKY DERBY most likely will come from last years event . EL PADRINO should not even be a factor when the running gets Serious ! DONT MAKE THIS YEARS DERBY TOO CONFUSING FOR YOUR-SELF . It Is All Unfolding Right Before Your Eyes . BE SMART , BE WISE , 3/4 of the starters will not even care for the distance and the Churchill Downs footing . There ya have it . Very Simple
Ian King More than 1 year ago
Anonymous; love every thing you have said, it's undistandable why you will reserve your identity. I will become a regular, i have always made it clear on Twitter, B.C 123 is still top #3! El Padrino#4.As for Derby? It's all about pedigree!
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
Interesting race - Bodemeister ran huge - only his 3rd start, he cut the pace and kept on giving and the final time was solid. Baffert would not have named this horse after his son unless he felt he was something. As for CC - it shows the nay sayers overdid it in dismissing his comeback - he was finishing well and took another step forward. Did you notice that Roasario either lost his whip or was not using it - he never hit CC at all. It took him a while to really get rolling and when he did he finished out well. He belongs on the short list of serious contenders. Yes Union Rags and El Padrino should be listed ahead - but I think CC has a better shot than Hansen to get the trip.
William Caple More than 1 year ago
CC closed out well and ran a pretty good race. Didn't set the pace and was clearly the horse with the most steam left in the last furlong. derbydeals.com
Darren More than 1 year ago
I love how the Risen Star at the FG has been lost in the shuffle when talking about prep races. Go back and watch the race and then compare PDF results. Your opinion of who the best 3 year olds may change.
Vin More than 1 year ago
Crative Cause gets a really really good trip while Bodemeister attends a fast pace , pushes past the pacesetter and almost holds off the dream trip horse. Union Rags and Hansen looked WAY better than CC
Paul Garcia More than 1 year ago
Creative Cause is where he should be right now. The San Felipe will help him move up. Can't wait for the Derby....er...the Santa Anita Derby.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would think CREATIVE CAUSE trainer Harrington has some serious work to do with this fabulous grey . CREATIVE CAUSE should have run at least a 96 - 97 in the San Felipe Stakes . I would seriously think about the ARKANSAS DERBY not the SANTA ANITA DERBY . CREATIVE CAUSE really has nothing more to prove at SANTA ANITA , and needs to go else - where to get away from the west coast jinx
rcdom More than 1 year ago
listen, it was a nice race by creative cause and bodemester, but just like the breeders cup he is a notch beloe union rags and hansen PERIOD1
GregW More than 1 year ago
I still want to see one more race out of Bodemeister. This was his stakes debut and I'm not sure Baffert was even ready to run him in this spot until Fed Biz went wrong. I don't know if he is going to be ready or have enough earnings for Kentucky, but I could see this horse winning Belmont. Horses from the Unbridled line have consistently won that race.
OwenJ More than 1 year ago
My early Derby favourite, Creative Cause, certainly ran great but it's early days yet. Next stop The Santa Anita Derby. Anyone with an idea of the Bayer figure Creative Cause posted in the San Felipe?
Jordan Miller More than 1 year ago
OwenJ, I would guess a 92/93 Beyer. The Beyer just isn't going to be high when the first 6 furlongs is so tepid. After 1:11 and change, they would have had to go 29 and change the final 3/16th for a Beyer near 100. And finishing that fast is really, really hard to do no matter what the pace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Dont believe CREATIVE CAUSE will race in the SANTA ANITA DERBY . I think Harrington has other options . And ya know for sure that EMPIRE WAYS are done at SANTA ANITA till much later this year .