Creative Cause faces 5 in the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

Creative Cause faces 5 in the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

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Creative Cause Starts Season in San Vicente

Triple Crown contender faces Drill, four others in seven-furlong test at Santa Anita.

West Coast star Creative Cause  will take his first step toward a possible start in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) this spring when he heads a field of six in the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 19.

Winner of the Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) last fall, Creative Cause will be making his 3-year-old debut in the seven-furlong San Vicente. The son of Giant's Causeway  has not been out since finishing third in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. Out of grade I-winning mare Dream of Summer, he finished just one length behind 2-year-old male champion Hansen in the Breeders' Cup.

Owned by Heinz Steinmann and trained by Mike Harrington, Creative Cause was fourth pick in the just-concluded opening pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

Creative Cause has recorded seven published workouts at Hollywood Park since Dec. 30. He posted a pair of bullet drills since late last month, including a six-furlong moved timed in 1:11 3/5 Feb. 12.

“He seems to be coming up to the race fine," Harrington said. "I think he’s on his game.”

Creative Cause will be ridden in the San Vicente by Joel Rosario, who was aboard him for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Norfolk, a race they won by 3 1/4 lengths. They will break from post 2 in the small field.

The gray/roan colt has one prior start at seven furlongs, resulting in a second (via disqualification) in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I). That race was won by Drill , who is also entered in the San Vicente. The race is the seventh on the Santa Anita program with a 3:36 p.m. PST scheduled post.

Creative Cause began his career with a pair of sprint victories, including the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at Del Mar last August.

Drill, trained by Bob Baffert, was second in the Norfolk as a 3-5 choice and is on a five-race losing streak since his win in the Del Mar Futurity.

The $300,000 yearling purchase by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, will be ridden by Martin Garcia. The Lawyer Ron colt was fifth as the favorite in the 6 1/2-furlong San Pedro Stakes Jan. 22.

Creative Cause and Drill were each assigned top weight of 123 pounds, five more than their four rivals.

American Act is coming off a two-length maiden score at Santa Anita Jan. 16 for trainer Jack Carava. Let's Get Crackin, from the Craig Dollase barn, ran third at 30-1 odds in the San Pedro.

Irish-bred Captain Obvious, an even fourth after a slow break in the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park Nov. 12, and recent maiden winner Smoking G, make their initial starts on dirt.

$150,000 San Vicente Stakes (gr. II, Race 7, 3:36 p.m.), 3YOs, 7 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Let's Get Crackin (KY), V Espinoza, 118, C Dollase
2. Creative Cause (KY), J Rosario, 123, M Harrington
3. Drill (KY), M Garcia, 123, B Baffert
4. Smoking G (KY), C S Nakatani, 118, P Miller
5. American Act (KY), M A Pedroza, 118, J Carava
6. Captain Obvious (IRE), M Gutierrez, 118, B D Cecil
Blinkers Off: Let's Get Crackin; Blinkers On: Captain Obvious