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Apr 06, 2012

Creative Cause tops field for Santa Anita Derby


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - San Felipe Stakes winner Creative Cause leads a field of 10 for Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby for three-year-olds. The 1 1/8-mile race has produced 15 winners of the Kentucky Derby.

Creative Cause, trained by Mike Harrington, will start from the inside post with Joel Rosario. Owned by Heinz Steinmann, the colt has been installed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite.

"He's fun to ride and he's doing really well right now," Rosario noted. "We've got a big race coming up and we'll see how he runs."

Down the stretch in the San Felipe Creative Cause raced erratically versus Bodemeister. Creative Cause edged ahead approaching the finish and registered a three-quarter length win. Bodemeister will start in next week's Arkansas Derby.

Creative Cause has four wins in seven career starts for $719,000.

As a two-year-old the colt had victories in the Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar and the Norfolk at Santa Anita. The colt finished third two months ago in the San Vicente behind Drill.

"A lot of people thought the San Vicente was a bad race," Harrington said. "I was ecstatic with it. I said all along it's a progression, and the only thing I hope is that he doesn't peak in the Santa Anita Derby instead of the Kentucky Derby."

I'll Have Another, winner of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, is the second choice for the race at 5-2. Returning to ride the colt for trainer Doug O'Neill is Mario Gutierrez with the pair breaking from post four.

"I've worked him a few times and he's training good," Gutierrez said. "I worked him before I won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, I worked him at Santa Anita after that between races and I worked him at Hollywood. I just hope everything goes well on Saturday. This is a great opportunity. I'm very excited."

I'll Have Another, owned by J. Paul Reddam Racing, has earnings of $184,000 with two wins in four starts. The colt notched his first win in his career debut last July at Hollywood Park. The chestnut colt followed his initial win with a second in the Best Pal Stakes in August at Del Mar and a sixth at Saratoga in the Hopeful.

"He's always trained fantastic, but we never saw this coming, to be honest with you," O'Neill noted.

Here is the complete Santa Anita Derby field in post position order: Creative Cause, Joel Rosario, 6-5; Liaison, Rafael Bejarano, 8-1; Holy Candy, Alonso Quinonez, 8-1; I'll Have Another, Mario Gutierrez, 5-2; Longview Drive, Russell Baze, 12-1; Paynter, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Senor Rain, Eswan Flores, 15-1; Midnight Transfer, Mike Smith, 10-1; Blueskiesnrainbows, Joe Talamo, 20-1 and Brother Francis, Garrett Gomez, 20-1.

Liaison, Paynter and Blueskiesnrainbows from trainer Bob Baffert's barn will race uncoupled.

All starters will carry 122 pounds.

The last horse to win both the Santa Anita Derby and Run for the Roses was Sunday Silence in 1989.

The Santa Anita Derby has a post-time Saturday of 5:45 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on NBC.

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