Each of the past two years, Bob Stewart watched Creatine post memorable victories on Kentucky Futurity Day at Stewart's home track, The Red Mile in Lexington. On Saturday, Stewart will hope to see Creatine win again on a Futurity Day afternoon, but this time the race will take place hundreds of miles from Kentucky.
Creatine is among the 10 horses in Saturday's $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway in New York. Creatine, a 5-year-old stallion who is returning to the U.S. after racing 10 times this year in Europe, will start from post No. 1 in the invitational event and is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line behind 3-1 favorite Bee A Magician.
Post time is 2 p.m. for Saturday's first race at Yonkers. The International Trot, which returns to Yonkers after a 20-year hiatus and brings together horses from six different countries, is set for 3:10 p.m. approximately. The race will be contested at 1 1/4 miles rather than the traditional one-mile distance.
Stewart trained Creatine at ages 2, 3 and 4, before the horse went overseas. Creatine, at age 3, won the 2013 Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile and a year later came back on Futurity Day to upset world-champion Sebastian K by a head in the Allerage Farms Open Trot.
"We've had a couple special moments with him,” Stewart said. "To win the Futurity at our home track was great. That was special. And beating Sebastian K the next year was very special. This is our home and you always like to do good at home. As you go through life, it's nice to get some good memories.”
Creatine could add to those memories in New York on Saturday, which also is the same day as this year's Kentucky Futurity in Lexington. Stewart no longer trains the horse – Creatine now is in the care of Jimmy Takter – but he joined in the trotter's ownership in February. Creatine, bred by Diamond Creek Farm, is now owned by Big C Racing, which is Diamond Creek principal Adam Bowden, Stewart and his wife Lynda, and Diamond Creek Racing.
"It's exciting and I'm glad he came back,” Stewart said. "He drew the rail and I was told that he trained well the other day up there, so we have high hopes.
"It's the first time he's ever raced on a half-mile track, but I guess by the time he gets to the third or fourth or fifth turn he'll have it figured out,” he added with a laugh. "He's a pretty sure-footed horse. Who knows who is going to get the best trip out of a 10-horse field on a half-mile track, but we like our starting position, I can tell you that. He's always had very good gate speed. He can take control of a race if that's the plan.”
Creatine has won 16 of 50 career starts, including two Grade 1 victories in Europe, and earned $1.71 million. He heads to the International Trot, where he will be driven by Johnny Takter, off a second-place finish to Mosaique Face in the UET Masters Trot final on Sept. 13 in Belgium.
Sweden's Mosaique Face also is in the International Trot, starting from post eight.
"We were two wide for the last three-eighths of a mile and we were locked in,” Stewart said about the UET Masters Trot. "He actually had the most trot when he shook loose. He just didn't have enough time to catch (Mosaique Face).”
Stewart wishes he could watch Creatine in person on Saturday, but the trainer is sending out three horses at The Red Mile that day, including Bright Baby Blues in the Kentucky Filly Futurity.
"We're sad we can't make it up there,” Stewart said. "Yonkers was very gracious with their invitation. Any other day of the year we could do it, but not Futurity Day when we have three horses racing here. But we're very excited.”
For more about the International Trot and its participants, please visit the event's special website here.
Following is the field in post order for the International Trot with listed drivers, trainers and morning line odds:
1. Creatine, Johnny Takter, Jimmy Takter, 4-1
2. Papagayo E, Ulf Ohlsson, Jan Waaler, 5-1
3. Rod Stewart, Enrico Bellei, Jerry Riordan, 12-1
4. Timoko, Bjorn Goop, Richard Westerink, 6-1
5. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman, 3-1
6. On Track Piraten, Erik Adielsson, Hans Stromberg, 10-1
7. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder, Verlin Yoder, 8-1
8. Mosaique Face, Adrian Kolgjini, Adrian Kolgjini, 6-1
9. BBS Sugarlight, Johan Untersteiner, Fredrik Solberg, 6-1
10. Oasis Bi, Orjan Kihlstrom, Stefan Pettersson, 8-1