A useful performer in the turf mile division, Casa Creed reached a new level when shortening up to six furlongs in Saturday’s $400,000 Jaipur S. (G1) at Belmont Park. The 10.80-1 shot burst from the tail of the field to win going away by two lengths and secure a free berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who had the exacta with Chewing Gum getting up for second, Casa Creed was coming off a rallying victory in the April 24 Elusive Quality S. The son of Jimmy Creed arrived in the nick of time in that seven-furlong affair on Belmont’s Widener course. Cutting back further in trip produced his biggest career win – both by importance, as a Grade 1 prize, and by margin.
Casa Creed was anchored in eighth by Junior Alvarado as Bound for Nowhere, the even-money favorite, set a pressured pace. Gregorian Chant was lapped alongside through fractions of :22.06 and :44.65 on the good inner turf, and Sombeyay attended on the outside. Bound for Nowhere boxed on stubbornly in front and continued to hold Gregorian Chant.
But by midstretch, Casa Creed was roaring wider out and bounding past Bound for Nowhere. The five-year-old crossed the wire as much the best in 1:08.04 and paid $23.60 to win.
Late-running stablemate Chewing Gum overhauled Bound for Nowhere, who barely held third by a head from Stubbins. Next came Got Stormy, Fast Boat, Gregorian Chant, Greyes Creek, and Sombeyay. Defending champion Oleksandra and Completed Pass were scratched, along with the main-track-only Secret Rules.
“He ran great,” Mott said of Casa Creed. “It looks like sprints suit him, for sure.”
Alvarado was more expansive:
“I missed the break a little. I got worried right away because when sprinting, the last thing you want to do is break slow. The first sixteenth of a mile, I was last and he was going so fast. I was thinking that they had to be going pretty quick up front. He started picking it up little by little and still going so fast. As soon as I turned for home and put him in the clear, I asked him a bit and then he pulled the reins out of my hands. It was a beautiful run from the three-sixteenths to the wire.
“He’s versatile. He’s been unlucky with races, but he’s always been hard-knocking. He gets beat, but gets beat trying against really nice horses. We started figuring it out these past couple of races. He showed today that he’s a serious sprinter.”
Owned by LRE Racing and JEH Racing Stable, Casa Creed has compiled a record of 20-5-3-3, $755,408. The bay scored his previous stakes wins as a sophomore in the 2019 Kitten’s Joy S. at Gulfstream Park and National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame S. (G2) at Saratoga. He also placed in that season’s Penn Mile (G2), Palm Beach S. (G3), and Manila S. as well as last year’s Fourstardave H. (G1) back at the Spa. A close second in the Jan. 29 Tropical Turf S. (G3), Casa Creed was beaten a shade more than a length when sixth in the March 6 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1). He’s now won two straight on the cutback.
Casa Creed was bred by Silver Springs Stud in Kentucky and sold for a bargain $15,000 as a “short” yearling at OBS January. Ken McPeek bought him, as agent for LRE, for $105,000 at Keeneland September.
Casa Creed’s younger half-brother, Chess’s Dream, has emulated him by capturing the Jan. 30 Kitten’s Joy (G3) and placing in the Palm Beach and most recently the off-the-turf Penn Mile (G3) May 28. They are out of the Bellamy Road mare Achalaya. Their second dam, Grade 2 vixen Wild Heart Dancing, is herself a half to Grade 1 winner Man from Wicklow.