Fourth eight days ago in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., Woodford Racing's Campaign, who was about nine lengths off the lead when the field crossed the finish line for the first time in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup, rallied five deep turning for home en route to an impressive 3 ¼-length victory. Trained by John Sadler, Campaign got the marathon mile and one half Tokyo City distance in 2:34.73.
With stablemate Acker going to the early lead, Campaign was content to lag far back for the first mile and was on the move with about eight lengths to make up at the half mile pole. Favored Beach View collared Acker a furlong out, but Campaign was in high gear and drew out from the sixteenth pole home.
“The race set up perfectly and coming back on short rest, you have to be really careful with that,” said Sadler. “I don't do it very often, but I thought this was a case where I could do it. Turning for home I felt pretty good, because he'll run all day. He's a true stayer.”
Originally based with trainer Steve Asmussen back east, Campaign, a 4-year-old colt by Curlin, out of the Dynaformer mare Arania, was off at 5-2 in a field of five older horses and paid $7.00, $3.20 and $2.20.
“I had a lot of confidence in this horse today, because I've ridden him in his last two races,” said Bejarano. “In the Big 'Cap (Grade 1, 1 ¼ miles on April 6), he didn't have any pace to run at. Today, he was very relaxed and he was full of run going into the far turn. I didn't want to try and go inside, because I know this horse likes to make a run on the outside.
“At the top of the stretch, I was about two or three lengths behind Beach View and I was very confident. John's done a great job with this horse and I want to thank him for the opportunity.”
With today's win serving as his first stakes win, Campaign has now won two out of his three starts for Sadler and his overall mark stands at 8-4-1-0. With the winner's share of $60,000, Campaign now has earnings of $310,253.
Next to last heading into the far turn, Beach View, with Flavien Prat up, accelerated nicely leaving the three furlong pole, took the lead mid-stretch but was no match for the winner.
Off as the 4-5 favorite, Beach View returned $2.40 and $2.10.
Acker, ridden by Victor Espinoza, finished 1 ½ lengths in front of Arch Prince and paid $2.20 to show while off at 2-1.
Fractions on the race were 26.01, 51.57, 1:18.18, 1:43.66 and 2:09.23.
Racing will resume on Friday, with first post time at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
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