Updated on 04/10/2012 2:30PM

Santa Anita Derby: I'll Have Another outgames Creative Cause by a nose after long stretch run

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Benoit & Associates
I'll Have Another (left) outfinishes Creative Cause (center) and Bluesskiesnrainbows to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

ARCADIA, Calif. – When trainer Doug O’Neill was going through a barren stretch in recent years, owner Paul Reddam never wavered from his corner. And though both O’Neill and Reddam could have reached out for a more prominent rider for their top 3-year-old I’ll Have Another, they stuck with Mario Gutierrez.

That loyalty was richly rewarded Saturday, when I’ll Have Another, under a savvy ride from Gutierrez, outbattled favored Creative Cause and won the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby by a nose, which set off a raucous celebration in the winner’s circle.

Reddam, who runs the lending company CashCall, had an office party at the track Saturday. Six buses were needed to transport everyone, and it seemed like every employee came to the winner’s circle.

“Everyone from the office that drinks, I can tell you that,” Reddam cracked.

They even had room in the winner’s circle for the horse, who got a crash course in what the atmosphere might be like at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, May 5.

I’ll Have Another ($10.20) was the widest of three horses heading to the wire, with Creative Cause between rivals and 42-1 shot Bluesskiesnrainbows, the early pacesetter, bravely fighting back along the rail. Bluesskiesnrainbows finished just a half-length behind Creative Cause.

Paynter was fourth and was followed, in order, by Brother Francis, Liaison, Midnight Transfer, Senor Rain, and Longview Drive. Holy Candy was scratched earlier in the day and will instead run next Saturday in the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

I’ll Have Another was timed in 1:47.88 for 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track. The win was his third in five starts. He is 2 for 2 this year, having won the Robert Lewis Stakes on Feb. 4 in his first race in five months.

“Indescribable, unbelievable,” said Gutierrez, who came here from Hastings Park in October. “The Kentucky Derby is every jockey’s dream. I’m no different.”

I’ll Have Another was keen the early part of the race, but Gutierrez was able to keep him just behind and to the outside of Blueskiesnrainbows through fractions of 23.11 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 47.11 for a half-mile, and 1:11.14 for six furlongs. Creative Cause, who started from the rail, was midpack, near the rail.

As the field raced around the far turn, I’ll Have Another bid for the lead, but just then Creative Cause shot through inside under Joel Rosario. He then angled out for what proved to be a spirited stretch run, but I’ll Have Another held him off.

“He had a big kick at the end,” Gutierrez said.

Mike Harrington, who trains Creative Cause, said he had “no excuses.”

“He just got outrun today,” Harrington said.

Harrington took blinkers off Creative Cause for the first time for the Santa Anita Derby and said he would leave them off for the Kentucky Derby.

“I thought he ran great today,” Harrington said.

Both I’ll Have Another and Creative Cause will head to the Kentucky Derby. O’Neill said I’ll Have Another would depart for Churchill Downs “in the next week or so.”

Harrington said Creative Cause would leave California on April 28.

The announced attendance at Santa Anita was 33,166.

steve More than 1 year ago
we may need a rider change for CC...
Ange More than 1 year ago
I'm curious why they said IHA won by a nose, I pulled up the photo finish pic and he clearly won by a head... http://www.santaanita.com/photo-finish Just sayin' Mario was the talk of the Hastings backstretch yesterday. The place will be going wild on Derby Day :)
Gary Tasich More than 1 year ago
Don't forget, IHA is coming off a long layoff. He'll get a lot out of this and from what I hear, he has plenty left in the tank. Lookout!!
Tony Milner More than 1 year ago
I am very happy for the connections of I'll Have Another. This horse makes for a great story. Purchased for 11 grand as a yearling, and pinhooked for 35 grand as a 2YOIT. Reddam potentially could have cost himself a Derby start because he beefed up the Cash Call Fut. A jockey many haven't heard of from B.C. I am also happy that I have a future bet on IHA from pool 1, at 29-1. I am not happy about the prejudiced Beyers that have been handed out. If you compare the fractions and final times of IHA Lewis score, and Creative Cause's victory in the San Felipe, you will be more impressed by IHA, whose number was significantly lower. In the San Felipe, the splits were 22 4/5, 46 4/5, 1:11 1/5, and final time 1:41 4/5. In the Lewis, the first quarter was a fifth slower, but the rest were all quicker. 23, 46 3/5, 1:10 2/5, final 1:40 4/5. IHA made it to the 6F pole quicker, and came home quicker than CC. I know that some would assume that the track was playing faster in early February than early March, but it seems to me that the track was fast all winter, but a 96 vs. a 102 Beyer, when finishing a full second faster, seemed wrong. Fast forward to yesterday, both horses sizzled home, yet a 94 is handed out? One of the slowest Wood's gets a higher Beyer than one of the fastest running of the S.A. Derby. This just doesn't add up to me. Ah well, I won't be complaining if it results in a better price on IHA in a few Saturdays. Maybe that was Beyer's intention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
2 possible explanations for the moderate 94 Beyer. First, Santa Anita was really fast yesterday. Yes, the track has been fast all meet, but it had slowed the last 6 weeks or so after being sizzling the first two months. Well, it was back to being blazing yesterday. Fiddler's Afleet, a solid low-90s Beyer horse, ran a mile in 134 and change in the race immediately after the SA Derby, and in an earlier race mid-level claimers ran 6.5 furlongs in 114 and 1. The fact SA was SO fast yesterday is key because it's very, very difficult to earn huge numbers when a track is super fast. A speedway allows even mediocre horses to go out on a fast pace and keep going. And when horses that typically Beyer in the 80s post times like 1:08, 1:14, 1:34, etc;, it means that to earn a Beyer over 100 the stakes horses need to run about 1.5-2 seconds faster. And one thing I've learned the last 2 years at Santa Anita is that it doesn't matter how fast the track and even how good the horses, you just don't see times like 1:06 and 2, 1:12 and 3, 1:32, 1:46, and 1:58. Second, I'll Have Another and Creative Cause only finished a half length ahead of the longshot Blueskiesnrainbows, a horse that came in with a career top Beyer of 75. A key element Team Beyer uses in making figs are a horse's past Beyers. Even when we are dealing with young, rapidly improving horses, Beyer doesn't like to give horses a new fig too far above it's previous tops. Just as a fan that attended Santa Anita yesterday, I would have been more impressed with the top 2 finishers had they pulled a couple of lengths clear of Blueskies. To have done that, they would have needed a final eighth in about 12.20. The actual final fraction was 12.52, solid, but the track could have yielded faster.
Jimee63 More than 1 year ago
Tony, I have to take issue with you for being"very happy for the connections". While I am happy for the horse, I must point out that Paul Reddam is nothing but a bottom feeder loan shark. He runs a large part of his loan business through Native American Tribes which enables him to skirt any laws regarding interest rates. He will loan you $1,000 for which over two years you must repay $4,000. Still happy for the connections?
Gary Tasich More than 1 year ago
Jimee - Reddam is good for the game of horse racing. Nobody forces anybody to borrow money from him. Hey that's not his fault. The greater the risk, the tougher the terms of the loan. He's in business to make money. If you don't like the terms, don't borrow from him. Heck yes, Congratulations to the connections on a job well done. Nice race IHA and Mario!!!
Platano Lajara More than 1 year ago
this horse cant win the derby ill have anthoer and CC was cockin his head joel did his best 2 put it straight CC still is the betta horse hope he and joel gets a outside post in derby post 12-16 with blinkers didnt like him without it
Perry Genovese More than 1 year ago
I dunno....I'm not partial this year but I had I'll Have Another yesterday and looking at the trips CC had a dream trip, saved ground most the way, cut the corner, got the jump on IHA who was in 3 path most of the way and couldn't beat him. CC usually has an excuse and this time there is none. have to see the figs for these guys and Gemologist plus AK Derby and Bluegrass One thing is for sure. West coast seems a notch above east cost this year. Union nag will probably still be the fav in the derby....lol
Rodney Dangerfield More than 1 year ago
Union Rags is a very nice horse and I still think we haven't seen his best yet. I also thought Alpha ran a nice race yesterday and has more upside as well. I think the Derby will be a very nice betting race, and hopefully someone takes a big step forward, since I really want to see another triple crown. I agree the West coast has some very nice horses as well, and I still like Creative Cause to run a big one in the Derby. Let's just hope all these horses stay sound and free from any type of injury, and they all can run in the Derby.
Rodney Dangerfield More than 1 year ago
Sorry, I forgot to mention one thing. Regardless of who wins the Derby, I really want to see at least 6 or 7 come back and run in the Preakness, the last few years have been disappointing when it comes to that.
Donna Straley More than 1 year ago
Until CC learns to run in a straight line in the stretch he's going to continue to lose close races to top horses. He got away with his antics in the San Felipe against an inexperienced Bodemiester, but yesterday he didn't. He split horses to take the lead & immediately began shifting around which gave I'll Have Another all the opening he needed to get to the front.. Once IHA got the lead he wasn't giving it up.
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
This race reminds me of the 97 Free house--Silver charm Santa Anita Derby. They brought that race to Kentucky and I hope I want another and Creative Cause bring this race to Kentucky. I will see it first hand. My only question is who is going to be the "captain Bodgit:? Anyone know where to find a video of that race? Come on 147 and 3 vs 150 and change.
Rodney Dangerfield More than 1 year ago
Eric, Here you go. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBoZTsHbk3E
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
That did not work . Th Kentucky Derby came on. I would like to see the Santa Anita Derby. It is not on you tube.
Perry Genovese More than 1 year ago
My buddy was just saying the same thing early this morning. Except i pointed out they were running respectable Beyers figs back then...think they got a 110 back then...we seem to have a problem running triple digits anymore.,,,what has happened? major Derby preps going with 95's? Crazy. This SA Derby I presume is in the triple digits...anybody know yet?
MJP More than 1 year ago
David Grening has Gemologist as a 98, and I'll Have Another at 94. The Wood went in almost 1:51, the SA Derby in a bit under 1:48. When in doubt, the NY race will always get the benefit of the doubt, has been the case for aeons now. Personally I think Gem is a throwout.
MJP More than 1 year ago
I mean Grening tweeted it, he doesn't make the figs.
Perry Genovese More than 1 year ago
my goodness....still can't break 100 in $1M races. If O'Brien had any sense he'd bring Daddy Long Legs over here now and start training him at Churchill. But since he won't and the Europeans can't seem to understand if they ever want to win this race they need to seriously train here, then he'll be probably pitch a clunker. At least he got a 117 Racing Post fig he's probably capable of a 105 at least. This is another weak crop
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mind also went to 97'. Just like then I think the horse with the best chance in Kentucky ran 2nd. But Creative Cause and I'll Have Another have a LONG way to go to match up with Silver Charm and Free House. 97'-99' at Santa Anita. Those were the years the SA Derby was won with Beyers of 108-112, and featured the likes of Silver Charm, Free House, Sharp Cap, Real Quiet, Indian Charlie, Artax, Charismatic, and General Challenge.
Taso Iosifidis More than 1 year ago
The trip was good, but I'm not sure Rosario got the best out of CC in the stretch.
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
I agree. Well I am hoping. Creative Cause has been my Derby Horse since last year. I hope Harrington didn't have him cranked. I want another looked good. I still can not adjust to all of this time off stuff. Love the progression of CC prep races.
Rich Carrizzo More than 1 year ago
I agree, It looked more like a work for CC. I saw Doc Harrington on HRTV earlier in the week and he did state that the main goal was to PREP for the KY derby. He wanted this race to not take anything out of him, which to me looked like he did want to run harder but was not urged. This is why I stayed away from CC in that race.
Matthew More than 1 year ago
This will be the worst KD in a while...they have been getting worse by the year
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
Why, because you keep betting on favorites and losing? If you know anything about the Derby trail, you'd know that trainers who really think they've a Derby type winner NEVER gut their horse in a prep. Stop whining Matthew. You sound bad.
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
Only a dummy would even consider thinking about taking Gutierrez off this horse BEFORE the SA Derby. Now you'd have to be a cowardly hater bowing to pundit pressure to do so. This kid can ride. Ask Joel Rosario.
Rich Carrizzo More than 1 year ago
I agree. Not to say he couldn't win w/ any other jockey in the world. Not sure this horse ever had a bad trip or ever faced a huge field where traffic could cause some problems either.
Perry Genovese More than 1 year ago
some horses make their trip and the better ones tend to make them clean ones...and having tactical speed always helps as even if theres 20 and 15 or 16 are behind you then it doesn't matter.....if the beyers werent so light he'd be my pick now. Pending next weeks outcome it appears to be a great betting race and wide open.