01/06/2007 12:00AM

Kelly's Landing takes Mr. Prospector


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Kelly's Landing, whose chance to win the Breeders' Cup Sprint ended at the post position draw, opened his 2007 campaign on Saturday with a 1 1/4-length victory over High Finance in Gulfstream Park's $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap.

Kelly's Landing drew post position 14 over what was an inside-biased racetrack at Churchill Downs on Breeders' Cup day and as a result finished a well-beaten 10th after being forced to race wide in the deeper going for the entire trip. Kelly's Landing also broke from the outside post for the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector, but with only five rivals and over a track that favored horses racing on or near the pace most of the day, this time the post position draw proved no obstacle.

Kelly's Landing broke alertly under jockey Edgar Prado to prompt the early pace of Weigelia, took the lead in early stretch and gradually edged clear. High Finance saved ground throughout, raced in tight quarters in early stretch, then finished willingly to nose Mach Ride for second.

Kelly's Landing, a gelded son of Patton, paid $6.20 as the favorite after covering six furlongs in 1:08.84 seconds.

"The middle of the track definitely wasn't the place to be at Churchill Downs on Breeders' Cup Day," said Eddie Kenneally, who trains the homebred Kelly's Landing for the Summerplace Farm. "I knew he'd break sharp and show more speed today, and I just told Edgar to let him run, since speed had been doing well all afternoon. And he really likes Gulfstream Park."

Kenneally said the Grade 3 Deputy Minister Handicap on Feb. 3 or the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 31 could be next for Kelly's Landing.

"American horses seem to do well in Dubai, he's a no-medication horse anyway, and there aren't that many big money opportunities around for sprinters," said Kenneally.

Ft. Lauderdale: 'Classic' in photo

Prado came right back 30 minutes later aboard Classic Campaign to win a four-horse photo in the $100,000 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes on the turf by a neck. Classic Campaign was one of four horses in the Ft. Lauderdale field who had been released from the recent quarantine at Payson Park training facility on Friday.

Classic Campaign, who had to steady momentarily behind a wall of horses while launching his bid into the stretch, burst between rivals with a final surge to outfinish Dreadnaught, Saint Stephen, and the game pacesetter, Kiss the Kid, to gain his first graded stakes victory.

Dreadnaught, who rallied wide into the stretch, suffered his second straight heartbreaking defeat. The 7-year-old gelding dropped a neck decision when he was third in the Laurel Turf Cup in his 2006 finale. Saint Stephen, the tepid favorite in a field of 11 grass specialists, forged to a short advantage near midstretch but could not last.

Classic Campaign, a 5-year-old son of Rahy, is trained by Bill Mott for George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable. He covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.19 over a firm course and paid $15.80.

"I thought he was going to get blocked out at the head of the stretch but found a seam and had to work his way between horses, and fortunately was able to get the job done," said Mott. "I think he's probably got a little more explosive run if Edgar could have been able to get him in the clear on the outside instead of having to guide him through such a tight spot."