Kentucky Derby Preps: California Derby

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Kentucky Derby 2006 Preps – Cause To Believe Wins California Derby, Kentucky Derby in Sights

Cause To Believe Wins California Derby, KentuckyDerby in Sights
by Kenneth Strong of

Cause to Believe took advantage of a good pace and suspect competition to win the $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, but he did have something left at the end.

Almost nine lengths back in the early going as lone speeder Sinister Minister set a good pace of 22.19 and 45.26, Cause To Believe kicked into gear along the rail moving into the final turn while Sinister Minister was shaking off challenges from Passive Income and Pop Icon after three-quarters in 1:09.15. Sinister Minister opened up midway through the final turn but it was already clear who was going to win this race – Cause To Believe was absolutely flying on the inside.


Sinister Minister maintained a clear lead into the stretch but started to fall apart at the three-sixteenths pole when he lugged in and hit the rail. Cause to Believe meanwhile continued his big move into the stretch, coming off the rail to catch the faltering leader, who again hit the rail passing the eighth pole, and drawing out to get the mile in 1:34.48, finally stopping the timer in a good 1:41.07 for the mile and sixteenth over the fast strip. Sinister Minister regained his composure to easily hold the place, finishing four lengths behind the winner and 14 lengths in front of third-place finisher The Five J’s.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by regular jockey Russell Baze, Cause To Believe returned $3.00, $2.20 and $2.10 across the board as the 1-2 choice. The roan colt by Maria’s Mon-Imaginary Cat by Storm Cat increased his lifetime earnings to $340,565 for owners Peter Abruzzo and Peter Redekop with the win, his sixth in nine lifetime starts. He is now expected to be a late nominee for the Triple Crown.

Cause to Believe may have the running style needed to win the Kentucky Derby, but he still has to prove he has the class. He also needs to come up with some graded stakes earnings to get into the 2006 Kentucky Derby field on May 6.

He’ll get a chance to do both in his probable next start – the $500,000 Grade II Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course on April 8.