Creative Minister

Smile Happy Victorious In Return At Oaklawn

8th-Oaklawn, $106,000, Alw (NW2$X)/Opt. Clm ($50,000), 3-16, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m, 1:48.95, sy, 1 1/4 lengths. SMILE HAPPY (c, 4, Runhappy--Pleasant Smile, by Pleasant Tap) was a force on last year's GI Kentucky Derby trail as a 'TDN Rising Star', winning the GII Kentucky Jockey Cup S. in just his second start before checking in second twice--to Eclipse champion Epicenter (Not This Time) in the GII Risen Star S. and Zandon (Upstart) in Keeneland's GI Blue Grass S. Last seen beating more than half the field home in eighth under the...

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Thursday's Racing Insights: McPeek Duo Back in Action at Oaklawn

8th-OP, $106K, OC 50k/N2X, 4yo/up, 1 1/8m, 5:22 p.m. The Ken McPeek-trained duo of 'TDN Rising Star' SMILE HAPPY (Runhappy) and CREATIVE MINISTER (Creative Cause) kick off their 4-year-old seasons at Oaklawn Park Thursday. Smile Happy, winner of the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. at two and runner-up as the favorite in last year's GI Toyota Blue Grass S., makes his first start since finishing eighth in the GI Kentucky Derby. The 2-1 morning-line favorite gets first-time Lasix while facing seven rivals here. Creative Minister, a respectable third in last...

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Friday Insights: $525k Curlin Half To Creative Minister Opens Oaklawn Meet

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 3rd-OP, $90K, Msw, 2yo, f, 1m, 2:26 p.m. A daughter of prolific broodmare Tamboz (Tapit), MADLY DANCING (Curlin) is a half-sister to eight winners from as many to race including GI Preakness S. third Creative Minister (Creative Cause), MGSP Battalion Runner (Unbridled's Song), MGSP Oceanwave (Harlan's Holiday), GISP Dolder Grand (Candy Ride {Arg}), and MSP Late Nite Mischief (Into Mischief). Tamboz herself is a full-sister to GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile victor and sire Tapizar. Madly Dancing, a $525,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, races for...

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Battalion Runner Flashes His Hand as a Sire via Rudder's Men

It might feel a touch trite to repeat it, but the timeworn observation is such for a reason: the stallion market is one packed to the brim with tough customers and salty competition. And it turns out, both literally and metaphorically as evidenced by the recently released Report of Mares Bred. Breeders gravitate to quality and are more frequently turning to tried-and-true sources to find it, or are becoming more demanding of first-year sires before taking the chance. In an economy where connections are forced to steadily tighten their belts,...

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Creative Minister Works for Belmont

Creative Minister (Creative Cause), coming off a third-place effort in the GI Preakness S., tuned up for the June 11 GI Belmont S. with a four-furlong work in :48.33 (2/5) at Belmont Park Tuesday. NYRA clockers caught Creative Minister marking off a quarter-mile in :24 over the fast track, rolling through without much urging from jockey Heman Harkie. Rounding the turn and heading for the wire, Harkie remained still aboard the grey colt who continued a steady rhythm down the stretch to complete the work in :48.33, galloping out five-eighths...

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Early Voting in Good Condition After Preakness Score, Will Skip Belmont

Saturday's GI Preakness S. winner Early Voting (Gun Runner) was back in his stall at Belmont Park by mid-morning Sunday, some 15 hours after scoring a 1 1/4-length victory over favored Epicenter (Not This Time) in Saturday's Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. Trainer Chad Brown traveled from Baltimore to New York overnight and was at Belmont Sunday to oversee what is typically a busy morning of timed workouts for horses in his stable. During a brief break, Brown said that Early Voting, owned by Seth Klarman's Klaravich Stables, came...

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Preakness Full Circle Moments

BALTIMORE, MD--Every year, a new batch of sophomores converges upon Pimlico Race Course. And while the names of the contenders is ever changing, the people behind them are remain fairly consistent. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas casts a very long shadow in the second jewel in the Triple Crown, having won it on six prior occasions. From his first Preakness victory with Codex in 1980, Lukas has gone on to add wins with Tank's Prospect (1985), Tabasco Cat (1994), Timber Country (1995), Charismatic (1999) and Oxbow (2013). One...

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Second Chances: Creative Minister Another Promising Sophomore for McPeek Barn

In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar. Think the word was out on Creative Minister (c, 3, Creative Cause--Tamboz, by Tapit) ahead of his unveiling on the GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. undercard at Gulfstream Park Mar. 5 (video)? Hammered down to 5-2 favoritism off a 15-1 morning-line quote--having last year's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity winner Rattle N Roll (Connect) as a regular workmate will certainly do that--Creative Minister was quickly outsprinted in a...

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