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Classic Campaign Wins Off-Turf Diliberto Memorial
NEW ORLEANS, La. (November 28, 2008) - Kinsman Stable's Classic Campaign drew clear in the final strides for a 1 1/4-length victory in the third running of the $60,000 "Buddy" Diliberto Memorial Handicap Friday at Fair Grounds.
The winner paid $9.80 and $4.20, while favored Wise River returned $4.20 to place in the field reduced to four horses after the race was moved from the turf to a sloppy main track because of early afternoon showers. Because of the three late scratches, there was no show or superfecta wagering.
Classic Campaign, who toured the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.83, increased his career earnings to $512,298 with his fourth victory in 12 career starts under a well judged ride by Brian Hernandez Jr.
"I had him tucked in behind horses but I don't think he liked the dirt in his face," said Hernandez, who won his third stakes race in seven days, "so I took him to the outside. I thought I could catch the No. 1 horse (Wise River), but I didn't know how long it would take."
Wise River easily held the second spot after establishing early splits of :24.04 and :47.67, and finished 12 3/4-lengths to the good of Gun Salute.
George Steinbrenner, the former controlling owner of the New York Yankees, is the principal owner of Kinsman Stable. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott also claimed his third stakes victory of the meet.
Racing resumes Saturday at Fair Grounds with a 10-race card headlined by the $60,000 Tenacious Handicap. Saturday's card again has an early first post of 12:15 p.m. CST.
Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation's third-oldest Thoroughbred racing facility, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and nine off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Fair Grounds' 137th Thoroughbred season will run from Nov. 14, 2008, through March 29, 2009, and its inaugural Quarter Horse meet was conducted from Aug. 20-24, 2008. Information about Fair Grounds can be found on the Internet at www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.