Global Campaign , third in the Nov. 7 Longines’ Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland, will resume training at Churchill Downs by this weekend or early next week for a final start in the Jan. 23 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park, trainer Stan Hough said.
The 4-year-old son of Curlin , owned by Sagamore Farm and WinStar Farm, is currently at WinStar in Versailles, Ky., where he will begin stud duty next year for a fee of $12,500. He arrived there Nov. 8 with fellow Classic participants Improbable and Tom’s d’Etat , though those two are retired and will not join him in returning to the racetrack, even for a short while.
The $3 million Pegasus is 1 1/8 miles on dirt, a trip over which Global Campaign won the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) this summer, as well as last year’s Peter Pan Stakes (G3). He also won the 1 1/4-mile Woodward Handicap (G1) this year over Tacitus at Saratoga Race Course in his crowning achievement.
“I am really optimistic about it,” Hough said of the Pegasus. “I actually went to see him this morning. He looks great.”
Plans call for Global Campaign to train for a short period at Churchill Downs before heading to Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida. Another Pegasus hopeful, Classic sixth-place finisher Tiz the Law, is already at Palm Meadows with Barclay Tagg.
Defending Pegasus champion Mucho Gusto, unraced since running fourth in the Saudi Cup Feb. 29, is training in California with Bob Baffert toward his return.
All three horses have excelled at Gulfstream Park. Tiz the Law is 2-for-2 at Gulfstream, having won the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and Curlin Florida Derby (G1) there this year. Global Campaign is 3-for-4 at Gulfstream, though not yet a stakes winner there. His wins came in a maiden race and two allowance optional claimers.
“I want to win the Pegasus. That’s my mission,” Hough said. “I believe in the horse.”
Hough intends to go to Florida with about 10 other runners this winter before pursuing the Pegasus and deciding on his training future. First retired in 2012, Hough resumed training in 2018 to principally work for Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Farm, but Plank is now exiting Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Hough has a long relationship with the family of Hunter Rankin, president of Sagamore.
Hough, 72, trains for some other clients, and owns horses himself or in partnership, including five horses recently acquired from Plank, the trainer said. He wants to evaluate these prospects.
“I will play that out a little bit and see what we got for the winter,” he said. “Whether I continue or not will probably just depend on how I feel.”