Stamina will be the order of the day Wednesday when Del Mar Thoroughbred Club presents the 69th running of the Grade III $100,000 Cougar II Handicap at a mile and one-half over the main dirt track.
Woodford Racing's Campaign, proven at the distance via an easy triumph in the Grade III Tokyo City Handicap last April at Santa Anita, tops a seven-horse line-up in the mid-week headliner. His opposition includes likely second choice For the Top, an Argentine-bred horse trained by Bob Baffert; veteran grass runner Itsinthepost, a winner of more than $1.2 million in his career competing on a dirt track for the first time, plus Zestful, Premium Forest, Original Intent and Morse Code.
Rafael Bejarano has the call on Campaign, who is highweighted at 123 pounds. Most recently, the Curlin colt was a good fourth, beaten less than a length, in the Brooklyn Invitational at Belmont Park in New York at the Cougar distance.
Other rider assignments and weights are Joe Talamo aboard For the Top at 119 pounds, Drayden Van Dyke aboard Itsinthepost, 121; Edwin Maldonado, Morse Code, 116; Kyle Frey, Premium Forest, 115; Abel Cedillo, Zestful, 115, and Assael Espinoza, Original Intent, 115.
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