CAMPAIGN, IN HIS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DEBUT, RALLIES FROM FAR BACK TO TAKE $59,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY A NECK UNDER BEJARANO; TRAINED BY SADLER, HE GETS 1 1/16 MILES IN THE SLOP IN 1:42.91
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 3, 2019)–With a tremendous late burst, longshot Campaign overcame what appeared to be a seven length deficit a furlong out to take Sunday’s $59,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by a neck under Rafael Bejarano. Contested over a sloppy track during a driving rain, Campaign, who provided trainer John Sadler with his second win on the day, got 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.91.
Last, about 10 lengths off the lead with a half mile to run, Campaign was set into high gear around the far turn and was seven-wide turning for home as he had his sights set on favored Nero and Apalachee Bay en route to a thrilling win.
Idle since well beaten in the Grade III Sycamore Stakes at a mile and one half turf at Keeneland Oct. 18, Campaign, a 4-year-old colt by Curlin, out of the Dynaformer mare Arania, was off at 20-1 in a field of nine older horses and paid $42.40, $13.00 and $8.60.
“I knew he’d been running on turf, but I could tell he really liked this wet track,” said Bejarano. “He was very comfortable where we were at and then when we started picking them up, I just kept riding him like a bicycle. That was fun!”
Originally trained by Chad Brown and then by Steve Asmussen in his last four starts, Campaign, who sold for $675,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling, is owned by Woodford Racing, LLC. In his first start for Sadler, he picked up $35,400 for the win, increasing his earnings to $214,753. With today’s win, his overall mark now stands at 6-3-1-0.
For his part, Nero, who pulled his way into second position heading into the Club House turn and took a one length advantage over both Choo Choo and Apalachee Bay at the half mile pole, battled back at the rail turning for home and gained a neck advantage in the shadow of the wire over Apalachee Bay, only to get nipped on the money by the winner.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Joe Talamo, Nero was the 9-5 favorite and paid $4.00 and $3.40 while finishing a neck in front of Apalachee Bay.
Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Apalachee Bay ran a huge race at 48-1 and paid $12.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.79, 46.85, 1:10.77 and 1:36.27.
Racing resumes with an eight-race card on Thursday. First post time is at 12:30 p.m. and admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.