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Dave Harmon

Trainer: No Plans to Scratch Creative Cause

Mike Harrington said the colt is fine after rumors about his condition.

As the rumor mill, fueled by Twitter reports, swirled around Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender Creative Cause  the morning of May 4, trainer Mike Harrington said there were no plans to scratch the colt from the May 5 race.

“He is fine,” Harrington said after the son of Giant's Causeway  went to the track at Churchill Downs. "I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

According to the Churchill racing office, none of the 20 horses that originally drew into Derby field were scratched before the scratch deadline of 9 a.m. EDT May 4.

Questions about Creative Cause began to circulate earlier Derby week after the colt came to the track late. Harrington said one of Creative Cause’s shoes had to be replaced. The horse was then walked in the barn for two days, which 71-year-old Harrington said is his standard training schedule.

When he went to the track May 4, Creative Cause went through an exercise regimen that was described by observers as being something faster than a walk but less than a jog. On May 3, Harrington, represented by his first Derby starter, bristled at the questions surrounding his horse and said he never should have mentioned the shoe.

Creative Cause, who has never been worse than third in eight starts, defeated Derby morning-line favorite Bodemeister  in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), and then finished second in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).

New this year to the Derby was an also-eligible list that would permit a horse that did not make the original 20-horse field to draw in if there were any scratches before scratch time. With 21 horses entered, Kelly Breen-trained My Adonis was excluded on the basis of earnings in graded stakes and would be able to draw in should there be a scratch.

My Adonis is entered in the Canonero II Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Derby Day and was expected to leave Louisville later the morning of May 4.