Under a skilled ride by Richard Migliore, Classic Campaign settled behind the leaders for most of the backstretch and then ranged up four-wide as the field of seven turned for home. They overtook pacesetter Masterpiece (ARG), Onthedeanslist and then Crested, who had split rivals in the stretch.
It appeared as though Crested had outlasted the field with only yards to go, but Classic Campaign kept charging from the outside and got up in the final jump to earn the thrilling win.
“They told me he might pull up when he got to the lead and to wait as long as possible,” explained Migliore. “For a while I thought I might have waited too long, but we got there.”
A 5-year-old gelding by Rahy, out of Crystal Symphony, Classic Campaign came into the Carey with six victories, but placed in 14 of 25 career starts. Twice he tried graded stakes competition in 2007, finishing a well-beaten fifth and sixth in both races. His most recent effort was an improvement, a third-place showing in an optional claiming at Saratoga Aug. 27, only three-quarters back of the winner.
Trained by Bill Mott, Classic Campaign paid $8.20 on top and has now earned more than $430,000 in his career. Crested’s second place finish made the exacta (5-1) worth $32.60. Gold Hornet came from last to finish third, filling out a $242.40 trifecta (5-1-3). The final time was 1:33.95.
Masterpiece led for most of the way, setting fractions of :24.01, :46.96 and 1:10.35 for the one-mile event.
Betting favorite Ballast (IRE) was never a factor and finished last.