Some things just were made to stand the test of time, and after 25 years of being held as the gold standard, Hot Rod Falcon’s track record of 1:52.4 was beginning to seem like it would never be supplanted.
Many horses came – good horses came – tasked with the purpose of etching a new benchmark into the Scarborough Downs record books, but year after year, time after time, all challengers fell short of the goal, as the near-mythical speed legend of Walter Case Jr. and the handsome, white-footed chestnut, refused to be toppled.
But then JJs Jet touched down in Saturday’s $25,000 Mid-Summer Classic and the saga of a new legendary pairing was born.
Riding a three-race win streak and fresh off a determined score in Bangor Raceway’s Paul Bunyan Invitational, driver Drew Campbell scalded JJs Jet smartly off the car to claim first blood, hitting the quarter pole timed in a smart :27.4 before catching a breather to a half-timed in a more moderate :57.1.
"I wasn’t going for a track record today" Drew Campbell explained, "Especially after stealing the first half, my aim was entirely on winning this big $25,000 race. But with my brother (Heath Campbell) and StarzNHeaven breathing right down my neck, I knew it was going to be time to boogie pretty soon."
And boogie they did as the pacesetting duo sped through a closing half of :55.2 while furiously driving through a final panel of :27.4 to hold off the stern sibling challenge, en route to establishing the brand new track record by a glorious one-fifth of a second – A tick of the clock that had eluded so many over a span of 25 years.
"We’ve raced JJs Jet for five years now and he always seems to get extremely sharp this time of year" Campbell continued, "He’s everything you’d want in a good horse. He can leave, he can close, he loves first up – And for such a big horse, he absolutely thrives on the half-mile tracks here in Maine.
"It’s a shame there aren’t more top class horses here in Maine because we’d love to race him more often in front of the local fans. Thanks go out to the Downs for putting the Mid-Summer Classic back on the calendar this year and thanks also go out to Jody Arnold and the track crew for creating such a great surface for us to race over. The whole day was one big success."
JJs Jet, a 9-year-old son of Jereme’s Jet-Northern Desire is trained by James Dunn for owner Bruce Maxwell. Saturday’s win marked his 49th career winners circle appearance and pushed his lifetime bankroll over the quarter-million mark. (Scarborough Downs)