Ole Faunty Gets Lucky in Campbell Handicap

(from Laurel Park report)
Racing luck played a big part in Ole Faunty's victory in the $150,000 John B. Campbell Breeders' Cup Handicap Saturday at Laurel Park.

Racing in perfect striking position, Ole Faunty took over the lead from a tiring Rogue Agent at the top of the lane while 2-5 favorite Evening Attire remained trapped behind the pacesetter along the rail.

When Evening Attire and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan tried to bull their way inside Rogue Agent and the barrier, there was nowhere to go and they slammed into the rail. The stewards posted the inquiry sign and Bridgmohan claimed foul against Norberto Arroyo, the rider of Rogue Agent. The judges found in favor of Bridmohan and disqualified Rogue Agent to third.

The incident should take nothing away from Ole Faunty, who had shipped to Laurel and won a race here in January and had returned from Kentucky primed for another top effort. Trained by trainer Elliott Walden and ridden by Michael Luzzi, the 5-year-old Quiet American gelding ran 1:49 for the nine furlongs. The winning margin was 1-1/4 lengths.

"I had never ridden this horse before, but Elliott called me and I was happy to take the mount," said Luzzi. "The race went really well, and I stayed away from the incident in the stretch so I wouldn't get blamed. This is a real nice horse and everything went our way today."

With $30,000 for his second place finish Evening Attire went over the $2 million mark ($2,004,990) in career earnings.

"I was much the best horse," said Bridgmohan. "Unfortunately that had to happen. I had position there and once he started to come inside my horse hesitated. When that happened we had absolutely no chance. It was remarkable that he came back to finish third. He showed a lot of agility and heart and I give him all the credit in the world."

Arroyo countered, " (Evening Attire) tried to go through a hole that wasn't there. Sometimes when you try to do that you get squeezed."

Ole Faunty's sxith win in 11 career tries – and his first stakes victory – was worth $90,000 to owners Thomas Van Meter and Doug Hendrickson, increasing his career earnings to $239,715.

Old Faunty paid $13.80, $3.20 and $2.10. Evening Attire returned $2.10 and $2.10. Rougue Agent's show was $2.10. The $2 exacta was worth $23.60.

(Chart, Equibase)

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