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Creatine Sharp Heading Into Derby

Published: October 22, 2014 3:12 pm ET

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“He was a victim, I think, of the way things are set up this year with no four-year-old races starting out. His very first start we went to Scioto Downs and raced against Market Share and Modern Family and then right into Sebastian K, who was on a serious roll at the time. He had a time getting his feet underneath him.”

Although now, Creatine, trained by Bob Stewart for owner/breeder Diamond Creek Racing, is on a roll.

The four-year-old trotter won the $173,000 Allerage Stakes at the Red Mile in a career best 1:51.2 on October 5, followed by a three-length win in the $166,300 American-National at Balmoral Park on October 11.

This Friday, he’s headed to the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, where he has Post 6 in the nine-horse field. Dan Noble will drive, as he has in two of Creatine’s last three starts.

The card also includes the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby, headlined by the Ron Burke-trained duo of Foiled Again – the richest harness racing horse in North American history with $6.70 million – and Clear Vision, as well as 18-race winner Dancin Yankee.

Creatine’s form change has been a welcome one for Stewart, after a summer with no stakes wins at the top level of the sport. Creatine has $322,571 in 13 starts this year, all of them in stakes or open races.

“On the surface it looks like a change of drivers, but it’s not,” he said. “We brought him back from New Jersey (where he was based most of the summer), did a little minor throat surgery and I think that moved him to the next level.

“We actually did a little throat surgery last year and he raced very well after it. We did it again this year and he’s really raced well. He’s raced well every time except once at Hoosier Park. It was three hours and a half to get up there (for a $22,000 Invitational Trot in which he finished fourth after fading from the lead). We got within a half hour of the track and there was a fatality wreck in front of us. We sat on the interstate for an hour and a half and the ambulances and fire trucks were going by with sirens blaring. He tied up a little that night but other than that, he’s raced very well since then.

“It wasn’t like he was racing bad before, but he kept drawing outside and just getting rough trips and the 14 hole (in the Hambletonian Maturity on July 5). He’s put it together now and it looks like we’re going to have a good rest of the fall.”

The throat ailment from which he’s now recovered had no particular symptoms and Stewart said it was his wife who led to indirectly discovering the problem.

“I give my wife (veterinarian Dr. Lynda Stewart) all the credit,” said Stewart. “One night at the Meadowlands, Lynda said to have the veterinarian in the paddock scope him. We did and he was flipping his palate. He actually had a little ulcer on his throat where he had flipped his palate previously. So that’s when we brought him home and did the laser surgery at Dr. Wes Sutter’s clinic here in Lexington.”

Aside from his throat, Stewart says Creatine’s age also worked against him earlier in the year.

“He was a victim, I think, of the way things are set up this year with no four-year-old races starting out,” he said. “His very first start we went to Scioto Downs and raced against Market Share and Modern Family and then right into Sebastian K, who was on a serious roll at the time. He had a time getting his feet underneath him.

“Much to his credit, he was not used to getting beaten very often at three and mentally, he was able to work his way through it and not lose his desire. Even with maturity, racing against the older horses right off the bat is awful tough.”

Stewart and Creatine will head to Dayton from their home base near Lexington, Ky., after some fresh air, a “must” in Creatine’s schedule.

“He’s got a routine, he gets turned out every day,” says Stewart. “It will just be a one day trip. He likes being turned out every day – religiously, even Sunday and in the rain.”

In the Dayton Pacing Derby, 10-year-old Foiled Again will try to pick up career win No. 83 after consecutive losses by a head, in the American-National Stakes and Allerage Farms Open Pace. His victories this season include the Bobby Quillen Memorial.

Clear Vision, who has won $2.15 million lifetime, is coming off a third-place finish in the American-National. Dancin Yankee has won 18 of 28 starts this season, with his victory total ranking No. 4 among all harness racing horses in North America. His connections paid $15,000 to supplement into the race.

$160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby
(Race 12, post time 10:15 p.m.)
(Post – Horse – listed Driver)
1 – Fearless Man – Rick Zeron
2 – DWs NY Yank – Brett Miller
3 – Opening Night – Ronnie Wrenn Jr.
4 – Market Share – Tim Tetrick
5 – Fusion Man – TBA
6 – Creatine – Dan Noble
7 – Daylon Magician – Jack Moiseyev
8 – Southwind Pepino – Hugh Beatty
9 – Wishing Stone – Yannick Gingras
AE – Lindys Tru Grit – Scott Zeron

$122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby
(Race 11, post time 9:55 p.m.)
(Post – Horse – Listed Driver)
1 – Night Pro – Ronnie Wrenn Jr.
2 – Clear Vision – Brett Miller
3 – Foiled Again – Yannick Gingras
4 – Apprentice Hanover – Jody Jamieson
5 – Santa Fe Beachboy – Josh Sutton
6 – Beach Memories – Dave Palone
7 – Dancin Yankee – Tyler Buter


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.


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