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Camelot Hall needed race

June 18, 2004

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Of the 10 horses who will go to the post in Saturday's (June 19) Pepsi North America Cup final at Woodbine, Camelot Hall made the biggest improvement from the Burlington Stakes on June 5 to qualify for the $1.6 million (C) Cup final.

Camelot Hall finished eighth at Mohawk Raceway in the Burlington division won by Georgia Pacific in 1:49.4. Last weekend, in his North America Cup elimination, he rallied in the lane to finish second, one-half length behind Panspacificflight in 1:51.3.

"He just needed the race, that's all," is the way the Blissfull Hall colt's trainer Darren McCall explained the turn around.

The Burlington and Cup elim were the colt's first two races of the year. That compares with nine starts this year for Georgia Pacific, seven for Rogue Hall, four for Western Terror and three for Panspacificflight, the four Cup elim winners.

"He was going to race in the Hoosier Cup but he was sick after the second qualifier (at Balmoral May 19)," McCall explained. "They (Joe Anderson Stable) decided not to race him and then sent him up here. I only got to train him twice before the Burlington. That's why I thought he put in a heck of a mile (in the Burlington). He went (race timed in 1:50.4) faster than two of the other division winners."

Camelot Hall has his work cut out for him in the Cup final. He drew the outside post 10. "He couldn't have drawn any worse post position, especially here at Woodbine," McCall lamented. But, he added, "He's got good gate speed. He won the Metro last year (at Woodbine) from post seven with a first quarter in :26.4 then home in :27.4."

McCall said Camelot Hall's preparations this week have been "very good." McCall trained the colt Wednesday. "He never really shows anything until he gets with another horse," McCall said. "I trained him two trips, (2):25 and back in (2):15."

When asked who he thought his colt had to beat in the Cup, McCall only picked half the field, which is a pretty logical. "The four elimination winners and Metropolitan," he responded.
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