Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: San Vicente

Sunday’s Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita marked the much anticipated return of Kentucky Derby 2012 hopeful Creative Cause but Drill spoiled the comeback party.

San Vicente Stakes (2-19-12): 94 BSF (Drill)

Drill horse

Drill got back on beam in San Vicente - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The San Vicente was reduced to a compact field of four after scratches and American Act made the running with Drill tracking the pace. Creative Cause was wide in last but raced within striking range throughout.

It was basically a two-horse race throughout with Drill wearing down American Act. Creative Cause found his best stride late and Let’s Get Crackin completed the quartet.

Drill beat Creative Cause in the G1 Del Mar Futurity last summer but lost to that rival in the G1 Norfolk. He tailed off badly in four subsequent stakes starts but got back on the beam for the recently hot Martin Garcia/Bob Baffert team. I once considered Drill a Derby hopeful and it was nice to see him rebound but he seemingly has distance limitations and took advantage of a perfect situation on Sunday.

Creative Cause was the overwhelming favorite and probably should have captured the San Vicente even if he was not fully cranked. On the other hand, this extended sprint was just a starting point to his sophomore campaign and he was already is great shape on the Derby graded earnings list. He finished up well and galloped out strongly in a useful prep for bigger spring goals.

American Act ran well in his first start vs. winners for Jack Carava. He beat highly regarded Baffert runner Bodemeister in his maiden breaker and is on the upswing.

San Vicente Stakes Grade: C

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