Drew Campbell, Nick Roland hit milestones
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Drew Campbell, a perennial power house at Scarborough Downs, secured career driving victory number 3,500 at the seaside oval on Sunday (June 29). Heading into the day, Campbell needed two wins to reach his latest milestone and quickly got on the winning stride, grabbing one of the victories in the second race with a gate-to-wire performance behind the pacing mare, Saturday Night Dancer. Campbell then had to fret the afternoon away, waiting until the 12th and final dash before tasting victory once again.
Smarter Yet, making his Running Aces debut, captured the $9,500 Open Pace for owner Kevin St. Charles, trainer Ron Merritt and driver Kim Pluta. The seven-year-old Western Maverick gelding now has 35 lifetime wins and career earnings of $223,225. Pluta had the winner positioned next-to-last in the early going, but began a second-over journey in the outer flow approaching the halfway point. Moving up steadily through fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:24.2 Smarter Yet closed with a final panel of :27.4 to win in 1:52.4. Overlooked at odds of 25-1, Smarter Yet paid $53.40 for a $2 win ticket. Second and third place finishers R Gauwitz Hanover (Rick Magee) and Restless Yankee (Nick Roland) completed exacta and trifecta tickets worth $539.20 and $2,839.80 respectively.
The Open pace has been highly competitive at Running Aces through the first five weeks of the 14-week schedule with five different horses winning the weekly feature thus far. Handle on the ten-race card was $189,848.
In other news from Scarborough Downs, the Maine Sire Stakes 3-year-old colt division made its second appearance of the year on Sunday. Pembroke Newt (Heath Campbell) grabbed victory in the first of three divisions, scooting up the inside path to secure the win and grab the lion's share of the $10,089 purse. The son of Neutralize is owned by William Varney of Bangor, Maine and trained by Valerie Grondin.
Alittlebitcountry (David Ingraham) was second, while David the Saint (Mark Athearn) was third, beaten just half a length.
(Scarborough Downs & Running Aces press releases)