It took a while for Sagamore Farm and WinStar Farm's Global Campaign to get to the races, but the bay son of Hall of Famer Curlin has been nothing but perfect heading into his toughest test yet in Saturday's Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park
Based with trainer Stanley Hough at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream's satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Global Campaign was targeted to be unveiled last fall in Kentucky but the plan was scrapped due to a bruised foot.
Instead, the half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Bolt d'Oro out of the A.P. Indy mare Globe Trot debuted in a seven-furlong maiden special weight Jan. 5 at Gulfstream, winning by 5 ¾ lengths in 1:24.49 while wrapped up by jockey Luis Saez.
Hough brought Global Campaign back in an entry-level optional claimer Feb. 9, when he cruised by 2 ¼ lengths, again under a hand ride, in 1:44.29 for 1 1/16 miles, the distance of the Fountain of Youth. The Fountain of Youth was won in 1:44.17 last winter by eventual Grade 1-winning sprinter Promises Fulfilled and 1:44.25 by $4 million earner Gunnevera in 2018.
“He had some little 2-year-old stuff that set him back. It took a while to get him back going again, but he's a very talented horse,” Hough said. “His first race was very nice and even his last race, even though the time wasn't that fast, it was very impressive. Just the way he does things is very impressive.”
Global Campaign has worked twice since his most recent win, going three furlongs in a bullet 36.40 seconds Feb. 17 and five furlongs in 1:01.85 Feb. 24. Saez returns to ride from Post 8 in the field of 11 at 116 pounds, six fewer than co-highweights Signalman and Vekoma. He is listed at 10-1 on the morning line.
“He's doing really good. It's going to be a lot tougher,” Hough said. “It's going to be a very tough race [but] he's going to have to get challenged one of these days.”
The Fountain of Youth is a race yet to be won by Hough, a winner of more than 2,000 career races and member of Calder's Hall of Fame who returned to training last summer after six years away from the backstretch. He worked as an adviser for Sagamore, and helped pick Global Campaign out of Keeneland's 2017 September yearling sale, where he sold for $250,000.
“It's been good,” Hough said of his return to South Florida. “I've been back here right along, but training has been good. We do have some young horses. I was involved with buying them and we do have some where it's kind of exciting to see them though.”
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