May 27, 2024

Casa Creed drives past Annapolis, punches Mile ticket in Fourstardave repeat

Casa Creed wins the Fourstardave at Saratoga (Photo by Adam Coglianese)

Third in upper stretch, Casa Creed kicked powerfully for home to defend his title in Saturday’s $500,000 Fourstardave H. (G1) at Saratoga, overtaking Annapolis in deep stretch of the mile turf affair. Luis Saez rides the accomplished seven-year-old horse, who notched his fourth Grade 1 and eighth overall stakes victory, and the Bill Mott-trained late runner handled the rain-softened course, stopping the teletimer in 1:34.20.

“He ran his rear end off,” Mott said. “He gives it to you. He digs in and gives it to you. Not much more to say than that.”

The Breeders’ Cup veteran picked up a free berth to the Mile (G1) in the “Win & You’re In” race. It would be the fourth consecutive Breeders’ Cup If Casa Creed makes the trip to Santa Anita this November, competing in two editions of the Mile and a Turf Sprint (G1) over the last three years.

“If we go to the Breeders’ Cup, it would be the Mile,” Mott said.

Casa Creed finished third in consecutive editions of the Fourstardave before breaking through with a convincing triumph last year. A two-time winner of the six-furlong Jaipur (G1) in 2020-21, the versatile bay son of Jimmy Creed was exiting a comfortable one-length score over Grade 1 winner Annapolis in the one-mile Kelso H. (G3) on the opening weekend at Saratoga in mid-July.

Annapolis raced closer to the pace Saturday in third, one spot better than Casa Creed through opening splits in :23.31 and :46.57, and he got the jump on his rivals turning for home, opening a clear advantage in upper stretch.

“We knew he (Annapolis) was going to try and get first run on us today,” Mott said. I knew they were going to try and get away a little better; they did and they got first run, but it didn’t matter.”

Casa Creed found his best stride in midstretch and determinedly got up in time, winning by three-quarters of a length.

“I know he always gives me 100 percent – he always tries,” Saez said. “Even if he gets beat, he always gives you so much. I know him, he always tries, and at his age, he’s getting better and better.”

Annapolis was off as the 1.25-1 favorite, with Casa Creed 1.85-1, and the runner-up held second by a half-length over Ice Chocolat, who closed belatedly for third from last. It was nearly five more lengths to My Sea Cottage in fourth, and Emmanuel, Full Screen, and So High completed the order.

Owned by Lee Einsidler’s LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable, Casa Creed has now earned $2,460,308 from a 33-9-5-5 record. He was bred in Kentucky by Silver Springs Stud and is out of the Bellamy Road mare Achalaya, who is also the dam of Group 3 winner Chess’s Dream.

“He’s improved with every year he’s raced,” Mott said. “He’s as good now as he ever was.”