03/28/2013 2:43PM

Meadowlands: Cambassador hopes to overcome post 10 in Rags To Riches Final

Lisa Photo
Cambassador will start from post 10 in the Rags To Riches Final.

Three years ago at this time Cambassador was on the road to the Meadowlands Pace. He was preparing for the Matts Scooter series at the Meadowlands and would go on to the Berry’s Creek and a few other stakes engagements before calling it a year.

Now a 6-year-old, Cambassador has found himself racing for big bucks once again thanks to some innovative events hosted by the Meadowlands. In February he started in the $86,700 Winter Survivor Series Final for horses who started for a claiming price or $15,000 or less. This Saturday (March 30) Cambassador gets a shot at $60,850 in the Rags To Riches Final for horses which have started for a claiming price of $10,000 or lower.

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Far removed from 2010 when he once finished within a length of Rock N Roll Heaven in a qualifier at the Meadowlands, Cambassador found new life as a claimer in 2012 and banked over $70,000. He has continued the good times this year with a stellar 6-2-2-1 record and $26,460 in earnings despite getting unlucky and only finishing fifth in the Survivor Final due to a post 10 draw.

Unfortunately the deck continues to be stacked against Cambassador when the money is on the line. Once again he finds himself stuck with post 10, this time in Saturday’s Rags To Riches. But driver John Campbell, who has driven him in both wins this year, is undeterred as usual with the poor starting position.

“He raced well both times I drove him,” said Campbell, who has won from on and off the pace with Cambassador. “He was stronger in his last win and seems to be trending in the right direction. We don’t want to come away last from post 10, so I’ll go to the gate and see what happens.”

Owner/trainer Mark Silva claimed Cambassador in December at Harrah’s Philadelphia for just $10,000. It was the second time Silva has trained the gelding. Back in January of 2012, Cambassador was just a $6,000 Preferred Equine Select Mixed Sale buy at the Meadowlands and won consecutive races for Silva before he lost the horse at the claiming box for $25,000.

Saturday’s task for Cambassador will only be complicated by the presence of multiple sharp foes to his inside. The field of 10 geldings is led by Cane Ridge (post 4), a winner of two straight Rags To Riches splits. The Doug Dilloian Jr trainee is also guided by the hottest hands on the grounds, driver Corey Callahan.

Another multiple leg winner is Hopskipanajump. He came up second best behind Cambassador last week but should get the jump on him with a cozy 3-hole starting slot.

After four straight outside draws, Laguna Beach finally gets a chance to visit the left side of the gate. The Rene Allard student has tried to leave in each of his last four races and will finally get an easy shot at the early lead.

Rounding out the top five contenders is Tamayo. The 7-year-old has a win and a second in three series tries.

The Rags To Riches Final is slated as race 6 on the 13-race Meadowlands program. First race post time is 7:15 pm.