In a mild upset, 6-5 morning-line favorite Creative Cause couldn’t close the deal at the Santa Anita Derby today. Instead, I’ll Have Another (5-2 on the morning line) took the victory by a head, with Creative Cause placing.
The biggest surprise of the race was Blueskiesnrainbows, who came in third despite coming in as a 20-to-1 shot. He jumped out to a brilliant start to lead the field coming into the stretch, but faded just enough to be caught by the two favorites.
Creative Cause made a valiant push at the wire, but couldn’t quite recover from the terrific outside charge that had put I’ll Have Another in front in the stretch run.
The full order of finish was as follows:
|1. I'll Have Another||5-2|
|2. Creative Cause||6-5|
|5. Brother Francis||20-1|
|7. Midnight Transfer||10-1|
|8. Senor Rain||15-1|
|9. Longview Drive||12-1|
The strong showing by I’ll Have Another gives the colt his third win in five starts. It wouldn’t be any surprise to see him run for the roses in May, but Santa Anita winners don’t have the best history of success in the Kentucky Derby.
Similarly, it’s hard to be too optimistic about Creative Cause’s chances at Churchill Downs. A win today would’ve been his second in four starts in 2012 and made him a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby, but it’s never an encouraging sign for a horse to suffer a tough loss like this one with the Triple Crown races looming.
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of today’s race will be Mario Gutierrez. The winning jockey aboard I’ll Have Another, Gutierrez records his first Grade I victory since moving to U.S. tracks from Canada and establishes himself as a rider to watch on the California scene.