OCEANSIDE, NJ – Trainer Stanley Hough’s Global Campaign was ultra-game in the stretch to fend off his rivals and successfully take the field gate to wire in Saturday’s $300,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park.
Global Campaign was sent from the rail as the 5/2 favorite under Jorge Vargas, Jr., Global Campaign went straight to the lead under his own power. With Joevia applying pressure along his outside, Global Campaign posted opening fractions of :23.77, :47.91, and 1:11.69.
Bal Harbour made a three-wide bid in the far turn and loomed dangerous at the top of the stretch, then inched ahead to take command at the 1/8 pole. Bal Harbour looked like a winner in mid-stretch, but Global Campaign found a new gear near the 1/16 pole and re-rallied back to the front.
Scorching away along the inside in the final stages, Global Campaign crossed 1 1/2 lengths the best in a final time of 1:50 for the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route.
“I was pretty excited when I found out I was going to ride him,” said Vargas, Jr. “I went back and watched all of his races. I knew how talented he is. If you saw him this race, even with those horses putting pressure on him all race, he kept his ears pricked and he was relaxed and off the bit. When I asked him a little bit, he jumped on the bit and he had something left. He was very strong. I just moved to Monmouth Park for the summer for the first time this year and this is my first win of the meet, so it’s pretty special.
Math Wizard rallied to take second by 1 length over a heartbroken Bal Harbour, who failed to keep up when the winner took off. Monongahela, Harpers First Ride, Joevia, Core Beliefs, Senior Investment, and Just Whistle completed the order of finish.
Bodexpress was a veterinarian scratch at the gate.
Global Campaign’s win was his second of 2020 and first at the stakes level since last year’s Peter Pan Stakes (G3). The 4-year-old Curlin colt improved his overall record to 8-5-0-1 with $506,080 earned for WinStar Farm (who also bred him) and Sagamore Farm.
“I didn’t like seeing all the pressure on him all race, but I can’t say I’m surprised he withstood it,” Hough said. “I had my doubts when he got headed in the stretch by Bal Harbour, but Jorge Vargas rode him good and the horse responded great. He’s a very, very talented horse, so it’s good to see him come back like this. Hopefully, he continues to show himself. I’m very pleased with this effort.”
It was Global Campaign’s first time running without blinkers.
“He was kind of rambunctious as a 3-year-old last year, and he’d look around and get distracted, so I kept the blinkers on him, but I never felt he really needed them,” Hough said. “I just thought it would let him see around a little by taking them off for this race. I’ve been working him without them, so he was used to it again. He’s shown from the start that he’s a good horse. He’s well-bred, and gosh, he has so much talent. He has kind of been his own worst enemy, but he is finally maturing and maybe we can build from here.”
Global Campaign returned $7 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.20 to show. Math Wizard brought back $7.40 to place and $4.60 to show, while Bal Harbour paid $3 to show.