Balmoral Park (9/22/11)
Contact: Tom Kelley
CAMPBELL SWEEPS WEDNESDAY'S AMERICAN NATIONALS
Freshmen trotters took center stage on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a pair of American National Stakes shared top billing on the 10-race program. Looking as fresh as a daisy despite a day of racing at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio and then a private plane ride to Crete, Hall of Famer John Campbell proved once again that he’s still one of the best in the game with these young trotters as he piloted a pair of Scott Andrews trainees in Southwind Moni and One In A Million to victories in their respective filly and colt divisions.
|Southwind Moni and John Campbell cruised away from their rivals to take the $70,000 American National Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies on Wednesday night.|
Kicking off the action were nine two-year-old diagonally gaited fillies as they slugged it out for a purse of $70,000. Fresh off an eye-catching win in her elimination last week, Southwind Moni was impressive again as she cruised to a 2 ¾ length victory in a career best of 1:58.0 for Campbell.
Leaving from post position eight, the daughter of Andover Hall-Miss Goal was caught three-wide on the first turn as Campbell was intent on getting his filly to the lead.
“In a race like that where I thought she was much the best I just wanted to stay safe and keep her out of trouble so I wasn’t really worried about having to move her three deep,” explained Campbell. “We weren’t really going that fast so I didn’t think a move like that would take too much out of her.”
Taking control of the proceedings after an opening quarter in 29.2, Southwind Moni faced immediate pressure from a first over Canadian Justice (Eric Carlson) as the two proceeded to battle through middle splits of 58.4 and 1:28.3.
“Even though we had a horse right alongside of us the entire way my filly was really relaxed on the front end,” said Campbell. “She felt like a seasoned pro tonight instead of a horse that was making only her fifth start.”
After putting away the challenge of a game Canadian Justice, Southwind Moni proceeded to trot away from the rest of the field and was on cruise control for most of the stretch as she reported home with her second win in five starts. Fox Valley Velvet (Marcus Miller), who sat in the pocket the entire way, rallied for the place money while Canadian Justice held on well for third.
After the victory both Campbell and co-owner Chuck Sylvester were singing the praises of this good-looking youngster.
“I never really had to ask her to do much in the lane,” said Campbell. “She was very handy and very determined tonight. Hopefully she’ll continue on that way when asked to take the next step.”
That next step will be in Lexington and then hopefully the Breeders Crown according to Sylvester who co-owns with NJ and Neal Goldman, Melvin Hartman and Rodney Andrews.
“She looks like she came out of this perfectly so we’ll head to Lexington next for a couple of starts there, he said. “Then if all goes well we’ll be headed to the Breeders Crown with a pretty fresh horse which is always a plus.”
Sent off as the overwhelming choice despite her outside post, Southwind Moni returned $2.40, $2.20 and $2.10.
Next up were the colts as a field of nine were sent postward for a purse of $67,400.
|One In A Million, a $200,000 yearling purchase, continued his return on investment with a half-length triumph for John Campbell in the $67,400 American National for two-year-old trotting colts in a career best of 1:56.2.|
This battle provided an exciting finish as the highly regarded Big Chocolate and One In A Million hooked up in a thriller with One In A Million getting up in the final strides to win by a half-length in a lifetime best of 1:56.2 with Campbell at the lines.
Floated away from post position five by Campbell, One In A Million, a $200,000 yearling purchase, landed in the fourth spot as Big Chocolate (Homer Hochstetler) led the field through an opening quarter in a pedestrian 29.3.
“I was a little concerned at that point because I know Homer’s horse is a very nice trotter and I didn’t want him to get away that easy,” said Campbell. “I knew I was going to have to come first over but I wanted to take my time with him because he wasn’t the best gaited thing on the backside but he got better and better as the mile progressed.”
With Big Chocolate cruising along on the front end through middle splits of 58.4 and 1:27.4, Campbell continued his march towards the front with the son of Donato Hanover-Mom’s Millionaire, who is a half-brother to the great Snow White.
In the lane Big Chocolate continued to cling to a 1 ½ length advantage but One In A Million was starting to close in on the leader. With a sixteenth of a mile to go One In A Million really began to dig in, eventually collaring the pace setter in the shadow of the wire for his third win in four lifetime starts. Big Chocolate was a game second while Duluth (D.R. Ackerman) finished third, 4 ¼ lengths behind the winner.
“We had to work pretty hard for this win,” said a relieved Campbell when asked to assess the performance by his colt. “This was his toughest test to date and he really showed me something there at the end of the mile by wearing down Homer’s trotter. Now all we can hope for is that he continues to mature and moves forward in Lexington.”
One In A Million returned $3.80, $2.80 and $2.60 to his legion of backers while running his career earnings up to $50,516 for the ownership group of SGS Partners, Melvin Hartman, Perretti Racing Stables and K&R Breeding LLC.
For more information visit www.balmoralpark.com or call (708) 672-1414.
About Balmoral Park: Located in Crete, IL just 12 miles south of 80/94; Balmoral Park has been one of the nation's premier horse racing facilities since 1926. Balmoral Park features live racing every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking is always free.