Posts Tagged ‘Mike Harrington’

Santa Anita Derby 2012 Preview – Creative Cause a slam dunk?

Southern California’s top Kentucky Derby 2012 contender Creative Cause is the strong 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Is he worth trying to beat in Santa Anita Park’s showcase event?

Creative Cause

Creative Cause looms large in SA Derby - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

#1 Creative Cause (6-5) has been a major Derby top ten player since I began my list last September and he continues to go strong for trainer Mike Harrington.  The tactical gem of consistency removes the hood and the only weakness he has is losing focus and goofing around in the stretch. He qualified for the Kentucky Derby on graded earnings long ago and does not need to win this. The main thing is to keep his mind on business and finish up strong with a quality top three performance.

#8 Midnight Transfer (10-1) is capable of giving the aforementioned favorite a scare if he improves off his San Felipe show finish. He is training well for this and has the numbers to make a dent if he handles today’s added ground. Not sure he really wants to go this far but he projects a decent tactical trip under new rider Mike Smith and the price figures to be right.

#2 Liaison (8-1) capped off a productive juvenile season with a game win in the G1 CashCall Futurity but everything has gone wrong this year. He clipped heels and fell in the G2 Robert Lewis and got no pace help in G2 San Felipe 4th place effort. He reunites with winning pilot Bejarano and should offer value.

#4 I’ll Have Another (5-2) surprised off the shelf in the G2 Robert Lewis at 43-1 but that race has not been productive and he offers no value at 5-2. The fresh colt is an early-pressing player at the very least.

#5 Longview Drive (12-1) is 0-for-3 in the graded ranks and will probably be aggressively handled by Russell Baze, who rides him well.

#3 Holy Candy (8-1) makes his third start in five weeks for Sadler. The promising son of Candy Ride looked good in local flat mile graduation run March 23 but he shows up in a tough spot and is light on numbers. Does Drew Brees have a Kentucky Derby horse?

#10 Brother Francis (20-1) is a stakes placed maiden trying to make the Derby cut. He does not have the numbers to win but another minor award is not out of the question. Garrett Gomez ends up here.

#6 Paynter (6-1) looked good graduating against three rivals at 5.5 furlongs at Santa Anita Feb 18. The Baffert trainee is probably not up to this type of company at this stage but is worth following.

#7 Senor Rain (15-1) exits an optional claiming extended sprint tally here and should make his presence felt from the outset. He seems a cut or two below the best in here.

#9 Blueskiesnrainbows (20-1) is a Baffert outsider. He removes the hood and should stalk the pace before throwing in the towel.

The Plays:

$20 to win #8

$10 Exacta Box 1-8 ($20)

Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: Creative Cause Wins San Felipe

The West Coast sophomores moved one step closer to Kentucky Derby 2012 on Saturday and Creative Cause emerged victorious in the G2 San Felipe.

G2 San Felipe (3-10-12): 102 BSF (Creative Cause)

Creative Cause

Creative Cause now has $686,000 in graded earnings - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Creative Cause sat the perfect tactical trip at the Great Race Place on March 10 and he wore down a game Bodemeister to grab the $180k top prize. Mike Harrington’s winner was gawking and wandering in the stretch and needs to get rid of those bad habits before the first Saturday in May. He is now a 2-time graded route winner and looks like the best of the west at this point.

Bodemeister probably ran the best overall race at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. He did all of the pace dirty work in his first start against winners. He was also an unraced juvenile so the Baffert trainee was giving up a huge seasoning edge to the winner. He owns dangerous early-pressing speed and looms a serious threat in the Santa Anita Derby if he goes that route.

Midnight Transfer did well to land the show in his first two turn test. I am not sure how much further he wants to go but he deserves a shot in the Santa Anita Derby.

Liaison rallied to finish an even 4th and was followed across the line by Rousing Sermon, Blingo, American Act, Tiz Point, Empire Way, and Groovin’ Solo.

San Felipe Grade: B

 

San Felipe 2012 Preview: Creative Cause vs. Bodemeister

The Southern California road to Kentucky Derby 2012 heats up on Saturday with the Grade 2 San Felipe and morning line favorite Creative Cause is back around two turns at the Great Race Place.

Creative Cause Kentucky Derby 2012 contender

Is Creative Cause the best out west? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

#7 Creative Cause (5-2) has fired Trifecta shots in all six career outings and exits a needed show finish in the G2 San Vicente at seven panels. He won the G1 Norfolk at this trip and projects a decent tactical journey under Rosario. He has dropped two straight and three of his last four and has plenty of graded earnings for the first Saturday in May. The obvious contender will not offer much value on top.

#4 Midnight Transfer (6-1) looked great in his last two local sprint wins including a minor stakes tally in the San Pedro on Jan 22. Carla Gaines is a sharp conditioner and he figures to stalk the pace under new rider Victor Espinoza. He is an interesting player if able to navigate two turns.

#3 American Act (8-1) beat Creative Cause and Bodemeister in his last pair and looms a pace factor at the very least under Pedroza. He is bred to go this far and might get brave if able to shake loose early.

#1 Blingo (8-1) is training well for Shirreffs. The lightly raced colt graduated in his turf route bow and ended up a respectable 6th of 13 in the G1 CashCall Futurity on Dec 17. He has not been seen since but is training well for this and can rally for a share under Mike Smith.

#2 Bodemeister (3-1) was clearly second best behind American Act in his local sprint bow and ran off the charts in his local flat mile maiden win Feb 11. He will need to earn better Pace Ratings to make a dent in his first start against winners but the promising son of Empire Maker might be up to the task for Baffert.

I was not impressed with the G2 Robert Lewis so I will toss all four rivals exiting that heat. #5 Groovin’ Solo (20-1) was disqualified for causing #6 Liaison (6-1) to clip heels that day but the latter was going nowhere fast prior to going down. #8 Rousing Sermon (8-1) was placed 3rd but had a flat performance and might be better on synthetic. #10 Empire Way (6-1) rallied for the place and is slowly improving for Harrington. Royal Delta’s late striding brother needs to get away from this speed conducive oval.

#9 Tiz Point (20-1) exits a local turf route entry level wire job. He will need a new rider because Garrett Gomez called off his comeback yesterday after experiencing pain in his heel.

The Plays:

$18 to win #4

$10 to win #3

$1 Trifecta 3-4/7/ALL ($16)

$1 Trifecta 3-4/ALL/1 ($16)

Early Kentucky Derby 2012 Hopeful Creative Cause Wins Debut

Creative Cause, an early candidate for Kentucky Derby 2012, began his career in smashing fashion with a facile debut victory at Hollywood Park on July 16.

Creative Cause

Creative Cause impresses in bow - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway, out of stakes winning Siberian Summer mare Dream of Summer, is owned by Heinz Steinmann and trained by Mike Harrington.
Creative Cause broke from the rail in the 5th race at Hollywood Park on Saturday and battled on the pace along the inside from the outset. Jockey Rafael Bejarano set him down for the drive and he kicked clear under a hand ride to win by 4-3/4 lengths. He dashed five furlongs in :56.90 and garnered a strong 98 BSF.

The promising colt will likely head to Del Mar for an upcoming juvenile stakes assignment, with the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity on Sept 7 a likely summer target.

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