2016 Kentucky Derby Profiles – Creator

May 2, 2016

By Amy Nesse
571419185049e.imageCreator is perhaps one of the toughest and most experienced horses going into the Kentucky Derby. Although unlucky in all but 2 of his nine starts, this horse has many impressive qualities. He appears to be getting better and better and is perhaps heading into the Derby at his peak. Creator is one horse who demands respect and can’t be overlooked, so let’s learn a bit more about him.
Creator-5Creator is a gorgeous grey or roan colt sired by the great Tapit. (Creator is 1 of 3 Tapit sons heading into Derby) He is out of the  Privately Held mare Morena, who was a graded winner going 1 1/2 miles in Peru, and finished third in the 2009 Personal Ensign Stakes (Grade 1) going 1 1/4 miles. From a pedigree standpoint, Creator is bred to excel going long distances, so that is one concern you can mark off your list for this colt. Creator who was a $440,000 purchase at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2014 by Winstar farm, finished unlucky seconds in four of his first five races. He also posted solid speed figures while racing on grass twice and once on a sloppy track. It was obvious this colt had talent from early on and trainer Steve Asmussen’s job was to figure out where that talent was best placed. Creator didn’t put together his first win until his 6th start, dropping 11 3/4 lengths back early and then unleashing a powerful late rally to take command in the stretch and pull away to a 7 1/4-length romp at Oaklawn Park. That race earned Creator a then-career-best Equibase Speed Figure and his improvement gave Asmussen the confidence to enter him in the Rebel Stakes (Grade 2). It was time for the Tapit colt to show what he’s got against some tougher competition.
Despite a gallant effort Creator had to settle for third in the Rebel Stakes, 3 lengths behind Bob Baffert trained Cupid. His next start would come in the  1 ⅛ mile $1 million (Grade 1) Arkansas Derby, a major Derby prep at Oaklawn Park. Few eyes were on Creator heading into the race. Creator was many as 15 1/4 lengths behind under jockey Ricardo Santana Jr heading into the backstretch, but drew off in an explosive stretch run to win by 1 ¼ lengths. The final time for the 1 1/8th was 1:50.14. “He made a nice run in the end” jockey Santana stated “ three wide between horses in the final turn. “Last time it was 14 horses. Today it was 12 horses. Asmussen told me to be patient, be patient, because you’re going to have a lot of horse. It worked out—worked out really good. I hope I have the same trip in the Kentucky Derby.” WinStar chief executive officer Elliott Walden said Creator is the first horse his operation has sent to Steve Asmussen.

“Steve has had a lot of confidence in this horse from the start, He’s been a very high-strung horse in the beginning.” Said Walden, “I liked what Steve had done with some of the Tapits he’s had in the past, so that’s why we sent Creator to him. … I love his style. I love the way he’s been brought along. I think based on today’s performance that he would have a very good Derby chance.”

Creator turned a lot of heads with his impressive Arkansas Derby win. Although it took this horse 6 starts to get a win, he is performing in such a way that you can’t help but think this horse could be maturing into an elite athlete. He’s a closer who prefers to conserve his energy for the final three-eighths or quarter-mile of a race to overtake his tiring competitors in the stretch. If he can avoid traffic trouble which is always a concern in the Derby, Creator could be very dangerous. I still am very curious to see how talented this horse really is, especially considering it took him 6 races to get a win, but you can’t help but like him, he’s gorgeous, versatile, and tough as a nail, and reminds me of a gritty old fashioned racehorse. I like his pedigree and the way he has been training heading into the Derby, I believe he is getting good at the perfect time and could be one of the top finishers in Saturday’s Run for the Roses.

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