In victory and defeat in the early stages of his career, Creative Cause has been consistent. He was the top 2-year-old in California in 2011 and a gritty win over Bodemeister in the Grade 2 San Felipe on March 10 made him the heavy favorite in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7. Creative Cause finished second by a nose to I'll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby before a fifth-place effort behind the same familiar rival in the Kentucky Derby.
The gray or roan Giant's Causeway colt was purchased for $135,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September sale by breeder Becky Thomas, who recommended him - and sent along some photos - to trainer Mike Harrington and his owner Heinz Steinmann. They acquired Creative Cause, and the precocious colt won three of his first four starts and finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He finished third in his 3-year-old debut before his San Felipe victory.