Creative Cause retired to Airdrie Stud

by | 10.15.2012 | 12:19pm

Grade 1 winner Creative Cause, one of the top performers of his generation at both 2 and 3, has been retired to stud duty at Brereton and Elizabeth Jones's Airdrie Stud.  A son of champion sire Giant's Causeway and the Grade 1 winning millionaire Dream of Summer, he retires with earnings of more than $1,030,000.  Creative Cause raced in the colors of his owner Heinz Steinmann and was trained by conditioner Mike Harrington throughout his career.  

As a two-year-old in 2011, Creative Cause won his 5-furlong debut at Hollywood Park by 4 ¾ lengths before going on to win both the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita as well as the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar, a race in which he defeated eventual Grade 1 Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another.  He concluded his juvenile campaign with a close-up 3rd in the Grade 1 $2,000,000 Breeder's Cup Juvenile, beaten just a length by champion Hansen.  Creative Cause was one of three nominees, along with Hansen and Union Rags, nominated for the 2011 Eclipse Award for Champion Juvenile.

At 3, Creative Cause was widely regarded as the top Kentucky Derby prospect on the West Coast during the prep season, a claim bolstered by his defeat of Grade 1 winner Bodemeister in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in March.  Made the 4-5 favorite in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, Creative Cause was beaten a nose on the wire by next-out Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another.  Beaten just three lengths in that event despite going 8-wide in the Churchill Downs final turn, Creative Cause concluded his career with a 3rd place finish in the Grade 1 Preakness Stakes.  

“I couldn't believe more strongly that Creative Cause is as good a stallion prospect as we've put in the Airdrie stallion barn,” said Airdrie Stud owner Brereton Jones.  “He is the absolute total package.  He's a Grade 1 winning millionaire, by a Grade 1 winning millionaire that's a perennial leading sire, and out of a Grade 1 winning millionaire that beat Ashado in the Apple Blossom.  People may not realize this, but he literally beat every horse he ever ran against at least once, and he ran against every top horse in his generation including I'll Have Another, Bodemeister, Union Rags, Paynter, Hansen, Gemologist, Alpha and Dullahan.  He had that great precocious speed but also trained on to be a top-class 3-year-old and he's a gorgeous, 16:2, correct individual that was purchased by Becky Thomas as a yearling.  We will be supporting him with the best mares we've ever sent an Airdrie stallion, including our Kentucky Oaks winner Proud Spell, her dam Pacific Spell, the dam of this year's Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can, Grade 1 winner No Such Word and our eleven-year-old mare Don't Trick Her, who has already produced two U.S Grade 1 winners, just to name a few.  We're all in on a horse that we believe has a limitless future.

Creative Cause will stand his first season for a fee of $15,000.      

  • Ace

    Before the whining starts about how few times he ran, he did plenty and of the bunch who ran this year he would be my choice.  


    A 3 year old who made it to post 10 times, COM ON MAN. this horse should have been on the turf but once again the sent of the triple crown trail was to much to resist for his hard headed owner.

  • Hadrianmarcus

    Creative Cause 10 starts, Hansen (9), Union Rags (8), I’ll Have Another (7), and Bodemeister (6) for a combined 40 starts. Black Tie Affair’s career was 45 starts, Skip Away’s was 38, not so long ago. The sport of horse racing has become submissive to the business of horse breeding. When the ‘iron horse’ of a class has all of ten starts… American breeders might want to reflect….on their business model, their breeding practices…and maybe even glance up from counting stud fees long enough to notice the empty grandstands and an disinterested mainstream media.

  • Realestate

    I think he will make a fine stallion….love his build and conformation…..and the fact he did  beat all the top horses at one time or another. Best of luck to him.

  • Ace

     blah blah pitchers used to pitch complete games too, is human breeding also suffering?

  • Meyer1127

    Another 3 yr old whisk away.

  • Hadrianmarcus

    He won once in five tries as a three-year-old. He peaked early and was clearly tailing off. He has a nice pedigree but his runs lacked the brilliance of Bodemeister or the stamina of Union Rags (of the same class). His handlers should have tried the turf. For 15K…you can get more horse elsewhere but Airdrie will give him good mares to get a productive first crop. “He did plenty”….then plenty ain’t what it used to be…either.

  • tinky

    Next time around, try using an argument that might at least be taken seriously.

  • Tinky

    As a related aside, the UK-based stallion Halling has sired 25 Group race winners, and they have averaged 26 starts!

  • Stanley inman

    My wildguess
    is you’re not In
    stallion season market;
    This is a top prospect for 2013;
    I want one.
    (Stats are golden
    never trump judgement)

  • wallyhorse

    This is yet another case where if in Thoroughbred Racing we had the rules that are now in place in Harness Racing, Creative Cause would have to come back and race at four.  For those unaware, in Harness Racing, beginning with this year’s three year old crop, progeny conceived during a stallion’s four-year-old season will be ineligible for major stakes at The Meadowlands and the other tracks Jeff Gural (who first implemented the rule) owns, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.  This rule is also in effect for major Harness stakes at Woodbine and Mohawk.  This affects the foals of 2014/two year olds of 2015.

    The Triple Crown track operators need to have a similar rule in place to the one Mr. Gural first implemented (with Woodbine Entertainment Group following suit) and expand on it so top horses have to race through their five year old season.  That would force changes in the way horses are bred for the better.

  • wallyhorse

    Which is exactly why Harness Racing now has the rules it does that require top horses to come back at four.  Jeff Gural initially implemented such at The Meadowlands and other tracks he owns and Woodbine Entertainment Group has followed suit for major races at Woodbine and Mohawk Raceways.  Similar policies need to be put in play in Thoroughbred racing and expanded on to where top horses have to race through age five.

  • Bob

    Yes, let’s do that and then we would be spared all of those awful–Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, and Bernardini (to name a few stallions that didn’t race past 3)offsprings that bring nothing to the sport.  If there is one study that proves that making a stallion race past 3 makes better offsprings I would like to see it.

  • wallyhorse


    This is not just about breeding horses.  This is about keeping top horses in training through their four and five year old seasons so the casual sports fan who sees these horses at three can follow them as older horses, which until the last 15 years or so was the real marquee division of the sport.  

    A side benefit of such a rule is that we would have more robust horses who would be able to race more often.  I wrote this as one of my recommendations in my response to the recent New York Task Force report on the breakdowns last winter at Aqueduct, which can be seen in its entirety at:… 

  • Bob

    OMG I hear this over and over and over again a horse making 6-9 more starts in not going to add to the fan base of horse racing.  Is it nice to have them around longer yes but at the end of the day you are talking about 9 races(+/-).  It’s not going to make the breeding stock any hardier.  There is no magic bullet to expanding the fan base of horse racing but 9 extra races isn’t even a pewter bullet.

  • wallyhorse

    It’s a double-edged sword Bob:

    If top horses are forced to race through their five year old seasons, the breeders, knowing this would have to suddenly change the way they breed horses to where they are bred for stamina, durability and soundness as opposed to speed, precociousness and the quick buck.  It would effectively end the practice of sending horses with what is currently not-so-fashionable distance breeding to Asia (i.e., those for example with Sunday Silence-like bloodlines) and would make it so horses bred to go longer distance and are more sound to begin with are the ones being bred to. That would create a reverse of what we have seen with the breed getting considerably stronger and more robust over time since breeders’ would have to breed for the long-term rather than short-term.

    It also would not be 6-9 starts either.  Since these horses would have to race as four and five year olds, we are talking at present more like 15-20 additional starts now with that growing to where horses at four and five make on average 25-30 starts in those two years and 40-60 starts overall as we likely would also over time see a return to less time between major races like we used to have (including for example the last major round of Derby and Breeders’ Cup preps being two weeks before the Derby and BC like it used to be), also making it to where if you want to have your horses in the big races, you have to also race in many of the earlier events and on average make 12-15 starts a year like it used to be done.  That would bring back the more casual fan who sees the stars racing far more often than at present and in many more truly big races than at present.

  • Ace

    Starts on grass compared to starts on dirt cannot be seriously compared.  But you never trained, or took care of horses feet, so your ignorance can be excused.

  • khambat

     Hey Bob, if Secretariat had stopped at nine races…he would have been done at the conclusion of his two year old campaign. Those 12 extra starts by Secretariat did nothing to add to horse racing’s fan base………. 

  • nu-fan

    Wallyhorse: This new fan (me) agrees with you on so many levels.  Just about all of the horses that I followed, last year, are gone.  I’m trying to get interested in the new crop but my mind keeps saying “Why bother?  They’ll be gone in another year as well.”  And, it is hard for me to believe that 2 and 3-year olds should be racing while their bone structures are still developing.  But, the horseracing industry seems to have a hard time in making changes.  Traditions are great but not to the exclusion of making things better for the horses and the industry.  That’s just sticking their heads in the sand….

  • nu-fan

    Realestate:  I follow West Coast horses more than the rest.  And, I still remember, last year, watching the Santa Anita Derby, and Creative Cause being beaten by a head by that other horse… Oh, what was his name?  Oh, yes, I’ll Have Another–who went on to win the Derby and the Preakness.  With so much of the attention centered around Union Rags and the rest, I kept wondering why so little mention of Creative Cause?  He did a great job in races that mattered and against the best.  I always thought that that the horse was underrated by everyone, especially those in the east.  Yes, I agree with you.  He did beat all of the top horses at one time or another… 

  • nu-fan

    Wallyhorse:  You are definitely into harness racing.  Have you followed what is going on at Cal Expo?  Looks like there might be some dramatically great changes and major renovations with the new ownership.  The following link is to The Sacramento Bee’s website, dated today,  which has a lot of detail that you might find interesting:… 

    Golden Bear Racing and Chris Schick has taken over this track again and is aiming to bring it back to when it was great.  He’s aggressively promoting the tracks and is putting his money where his mouth is.  It sounds very exciting! 

  • Cholly

    Bob, I’m with Wally on this one. Horse racing is an entertainment industry. Successful entertainment entities (sports, movies, whatever) depend on star power, on names recognizable to the public. What kind of business model insures that as soon as a horse obtains marquee status, they are retired from public sight?

    How do you think this year’s BC television ratings are going to compare with the last year Zenyatta ran in the Classic?

  • Ace

     Having lived thru his run as an adult, I think I would disagree.  He was on the cover of Time (I don’t know if as a 2 yr old), and he did add to the fan base.  But-he was sound, he could run, and he was a freak.  Which none of the 3yr olds retiring this year have in common.

  • Jeanne

    The Stud Barns are getting really crowded, especially with three year olds.

  • Changethegame

    Oh my the answer is yes Ace, look in the mirror.

  • wallyhorse

    Actually, I’m not into Harness Racing like I was a few years back (though I still follow it to see what’s going on), but it’s good to see the attempt to revive Cal-Expo into something.  They have been through some VERY lean times to say the least in recent years (as California Harness Racing has taken a serious hit ever since Harness Racing was kicked out of Los Alamitos years ago) and hopefully, those who have hung in will reap rewards from the efforts.

  • Yo soy fiesta

    What a sad day. This was a rare instance where i picked out my Derby horse before he was loaded in the gate for the first time. I asked Ray for an update on him several weeks ago, only to get no answer. Now I know why. He was listed as in training two weeks ago by DRF but there is no mention of why he retired. The answer lies in Rays list of sponsors. Dammit Ray, how are we supposed to trust you when your hard hitting journalism only applies to those not paying your bills? Was he unsound? Or not of sound mind to race? This spin crap gets old. Ban me, I don’t give a damn but let it be known when there is seven figures on the line per year in stud fees you are not getting the truth from these breeders its all politics quality BS. Fans no longer matter after the last career start. Now the horses are a profit driven commodity. Full disclosure Ray, have you ever had dinner with Brereton Jones? How is your relationship? Are Quarter horse trainers that scrape by free game but titans of industry are not. You call BS on them but not on this calculated press release?

  • Tinky

    Your contributions to this thread are consistently weak. Horses racing in the U.S. around 1970 averaged over 30 starts during their careers, and the vast majority of them raced on dirt.

    So much for your claim that the surface is responsible for truncated careers.

    Care to try again?

  • RayPaulick

    Creative Cause had two recorded workouts in September, the most recent Sept. 14. I’m not sure what led him to the sidelines after the Preakness or stopped his comeback. I’m sure if you are interested in breeding to Creative Cause, Gov. Jones or his son, Bret, will be happy to let you know what prompted his retirement. Here’s a horse that only raced in Grade 1 or Grade 2 competition after breaking his maiden first time out and always showed up, at distances from seven furlongs to a mile and a quarter.

    With so many other 3-year-olds from his crop gone, the racetrack earnings potential for Creative Cause would have been huge, so I think  your suggestion that greed was a factor here is misguided.

    As for full disclosure: Yes, I have had dinner with Gov. Jones on one occasion, but I think I must have slurped my soup because I have not been invited back. I did run into him at Wallace Station once since then and we had lunch together. Does that count?

  • Bob

    Did I say make 9 starts?  If Secretariat had made 6-9 more starts and raced as a 4 yr old would he be any more valuable?  Was Seattle Slew more valuable because he raced at 4?  I’m simply saying a 4 yr old season doesn’t guarantee to make the breed any sounde or at to the fanbase.

  • Beachy

    Oh, this kind of stinks.  I was tracking his workouts recently and hoped we’d see him race again.  What a beautiful boy.  Personally I don’t really mind what horses’ job is, so long as they are cared for–but I wanted to see him strut his stuff say, in the BCC.  Bummer for a peon like me, but maybe he will like having lots of girlfriends.  :-)  

  • Caroline S

    If a horse is unable to stand up to the rigors of racing, why should he or she be able to reproduce and further perpetuate weakness into the breed?

  • Beachy

     SOMEWHERE on this blog(can’t stop to find it now), I also said that Creative Cause had to be the most underrated horse on the planet.  Thus, full agreement with nu-fan. 

  • Caroline S

    Nu-fan, there have been many scientific studies that point to the fact that speedwork and racing as a 2 yo builds better bone in the racehorse. Starting horses as 4 and 5 year olds is actually believed to be detrimental because the bone cannot develop as quickly or as efficiently as it can in the younger horse… ergo, we would likely see an increase in breakdowns. 

    I work in the industry on the farm and on the track and I have fallen out of touch with the goings on of the sport I love because of the lack of talent and blatant money grab. Believe me, you’re not alone in you’re way of thinking! 

  • Beachy

     Hard to know, but I don’t believe Babe Ruth ever turned to drugs, but some of them do now.  I sometimes wonder if Lance Armstrong even bothers to feel any embarrassment that his Tour de France titles might go bye-bye.  And again, you don’t see this small race number horse phenom in Europe, where they are racing without drugs. 

  • nu-fan

    Beachy:  Doesn’t surprise me that you have been a fan of Creative Cause as well.  You and I agree on most things.  While I’ll Have Another did make me some money, I never underestimated the abilities of Creative Cause!  Great horse.

  • I have to agree with those who are critical of horse racing becoming all about breeding. I think it comes at the expense of the fan who enjoys following the career of a horse as he/she ages.

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