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Southwestern Dream, Chasin Racin score in Big M features

March 22, 2009

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Hall of Fame driver John Campbell scored a stakes double Saturday night at the Meadowlands, taking the $132,000 Four Leaf Clover with Southwestern Dream and $104,400 Matt’s Scooter with Chasin Racin. 

Campbell and Southwestern Dream, who paid $108 to win the Aquarius last month, teamed for their second stakes upset this season in the Four Leaf Clover. Southwestern Dream ($12.00) went right to the front, easily repelled the early challenge of Lucky Man and gamely held off a late bid by the pocket sitter Its That Time in 1:50 flat. Rocknroll Band finished third after tracking Lucky Man second-over.

The victory was Southwestern Dream’s fourth of the season and a record sixth in the Four Leaf Clover Stakes for Campbell. Frank Bellino’s Southwestern Dream, trained by Bruce Saunders, has now won 13 of 33 career starts and $337,012.

“He’s maturing,” Saunders noted. “He has a lot of youthful enthusiasm. In the Aquarius final, it was the first time we had a hood on him and he was very aggressive. John did a terrific job with him. He showed tenaciousness and great ability that evening. He showed up in Canada for Jean-Pierre Dubois, who’s mostly a trotting man, and this was one that he bred. He was available late in the summer before the Kentucky Sire Stakes. We watched him race through the Sires, he made about $125,000 at Lexington and after those events we got interested in him again and were able to make a private purchase.” 

Campbell also landed in the winner’s circle with Chasin Racin, who paced a career-best 1:51.1 in the Matt’s Scooter.  

Chasin Racin ($4.80) was first to the front and had to retake command from 70-1 shot Ideal Candidate as they made their way around the first turn. He yielded to his stablemate Johhny Z, then was shuffled into third as 4-5 favorite Hypnotic Blue Chip rushed to the lead and locked up in a duel with Glad To Be Back. As they approached the final turn, Campbell angled Chasin Racin out behind Glad To Be Back and the colt charged past the tired leaders for a 1 1/4-length victory. River Shark closed from eighth to finish second, while Hypnotic Blue Chip held on for third.

“I had the best three horses in front of me going into the last turn,” Campbell said. “He felt good on the lines. A couple of them were getting used up, but I thought going into the last turn, we had a shot. (Hypnotic Blue Chip)’s got high speed and he’s certainly tough to collar. (Chasin Racin) is still a little bit green. He’s not tired, you just have to keep his attention. When he figures out what it’s all about, I think he’s going to be a pretty tough colt.”

Chasin Racin, one of three starters trained by George Teague Jr., notched his sixth win in nine career starts as he completed a sweep of the Matt’s Scooter Series. Teague shares ownership of the son of The Panderosa-Contrapan with Elmer Fannin.

“We had some sickness problems with him,” Fannin said of the colt’s light freshman schedule. “We raced him real easy, brought him along and saved him up for the 3-year-old season. We’ve staked him to just about everything we can stake him to. So far so good.” (Meadowlands)


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