John Campbell wins Legends Day title at Clinton
September 04, 2011
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Driver John Campbell earned his third straight victory in the $20,000 Legends Day Invitational Trot featured on Clinton Raceway’s Sunday afternoon Legends Day program.
Campbell, who won the 2007 edition with Runway and the 2009 event with New Dice Please, guided Lexis D J to a six length score in this year’s race, which was packed full of some of the sport’s greatest drivers including Doug Brown, Jim Doherty, Bud Fritz, Clint Galbraith, Wally Hennessy, Bill O’Donnell, Ray Remmen and Ron Waples.
The 56-year-old reinsman settled his charge into the pocket behind Indiana Hall (Ray Remmen), and after Santo Domingo (Bud Fritz) brushed to command from third, he made his move. Campbell sent Lexis D J first-over past the three-quarters mark and took the lead in the stretch. Santo Domingo and Lexis Noah (Jim Doherty) broke stride in the stretch from second and third leaving Campbell in the clear for the 1:59.4 victory. Santo Domingo came in second, but was placed sixth for failing to continuously lose ground while on a break. Indiana Hall inherited the runner-up position while Logans Hero (Wally Hennessey) moved into third place.
Lexis DJ, a 4-year-old son of Amigo Hall, is trained by Waterdown, Ont. resident Brandon Arsenault, who also co-owns the gelding with Louis Arsenault of Freelton, Ont. He paid $6.10 to win as the 2-1 favorite.
Campbell, who returned to the race bike earlier this summer after being seriously injured in a racing accident, is harness racing's all-time leading money-winning driver.
Campbell also won a $24,000 Grassroots division of the Ontario Sires Stakes with the front-stepping 3-year-old pacing filly Smartygirl in 1:57 for trainer William Keeping and owner-breeder Dr. David Fisher of Windsor, Ont. The other Grassroots winners included Cameron Lucky (1:58.1), Rocket Art (1:58), Modern Cinderella (1:57.3), Epoxy Queen (1:56.2), and Pearl Handlepistol (1:58.1).
Legends Day at Clinton also featured an array of announcers at the mic during its 15-race card including Greg Blanchard, Roger Huston, Ken Middleton, Tim O’Connor and Ken Warkentin. Total handle for the day was $51,597, up approximately 53 per cent from the 2009 Legends Day card featuring 13 races. (SC)