The fields for the 14 races that comprise the Breeders’ Cup World Championships really begin to come into focus in summer and fall and this regular feature will offer a snapshot profile of one of the previous weekend’s standout stars.
Casa Creed secured an expenses-paid berth in the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile with a Grade 1 win in the $485,000 Fourstardave Handicap Aug. 13 at Saratoga Race Course.
Casa Creed’s owners and trainer, Hall of Famer Bill Mott, will have a decision to make once the World Championships roll around as Casa Creed also secured an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in his previous race when victorious in the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes June 11 at Belmont Park.
Casa Creed has competed in the previous two editions of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, fading to 12th at Keeneland in 2020 and finishing eighth, but beaten by only 3 ½ lengths, in 2021 at Del Mar.
The 6-year-old by Jimmy Creed arguably is in career-best form right now, however, coming out of back-to-back Grade 1 victories, the first at three-quarters of a mile when scoring a repeat win in the Jaipur and then taking the one-mile Fourstardave. He has put up faster speed figures in the past, but here are four reasons he might be better equipped to excel at the 2022 Breeders’ Cup:
- Improved consistency against elite competition. Since the start of his 2021 season, Casa Creed has not really run a bad race while racing exclusively in stakes, including seven Grade 1s in that 11-race stretch. The only time he lost by more than three lengths was the aforementioned defeat by 3 ½ lengths in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Mile.
- Casa Creed has been even more consistent this year with the two Grade 1 wins, a close second to Japan’s Songline in February in Saudi Arabia, and a fifth by 2 ¼ lengths against the world’s best turf sprinters in Dubai in the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Azizi Developments in March.
- Casa Creed’s improvement has coincided with a more effective running style in which he has been taken back off the pace and allowed to reserve his energy for one sustained late rally.
- While he has run faster races previously in his career, Casa Creed could be approaching a career-best performance after recording a 105 Equibase Speed Figure for the Jaipur and a 112 for the Fourstardave and Beyer Speed Figures of 102 and 103, respectively. If he can take an incremental step forward in his next start, which will be his third after the trip to the Middle East, he will be right there with the best milers in the world.
Co-owner Lee Einsidler, who races Casa Creed in partnership with longtime New York sports talk radio host Mike Francesa, said he thinks the Breeders’ Cup Mile will be the target, given the Turf Sprint at Keeneland at 5 ½ furlongs is a little short for Casa Creed. He could train up to the race or perhaps compete in the Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes Oct. 8 at Keeneland.
“Bill Mott and I were in his stall a few weeks ago and he said ‘Lee, he’s better today than he’s ever been in his entire career.’ He’s just been flourishing,” Einsidler said. “They say a lot of horses are at their best at 5. [The Fourstardave] was the best performance of his career and he’s a 6-year-old. He’s just amazing. I’d say right now, he’s at the total top of his game.”