Wilkes-Barre, PA – No one has won more Breeders Crown events then Hall of Fame driver John Campbell. And this year the veteran reinsman has eight drives in this year’s twelve Breeders Crowns Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
How does JC feel going into the finals after last week’s eliminations? He has drives aboard Nuncio (post 8 race 3); Cooler Schooner (post 2, race 5); Mattie terror Girl (post 2, race 7); Sometimes Said (post 9, race 8); Bax Of Life (post 3, race 9); Time To Kill (post 9, race 11), Sunshine Beach (post 8, race 12) and Modern Legend (post 4, race 14).
“I was happy the way all of them raced,” Campbell said. “Just wish we had a couple of better draws. We drew two nines and two eights. It’s unfortunate but that is racing luck. Then having Gallie (Bythe Beach) being scratched was real disappointing.”
Nuncio was very strong on the front end in his two-year-old trot elimination last week, cutting all the fractions only to be passed by Father Patrick to lose by one length in 1:52.1.
“He was a little un-ratable last week,” Campbell explained. “Jim Oscarsson is going to work with him this week and get him quieter and more manageable. Hopefully that will help turn the tables on Father Patrick this week.”
Cooler Schooner is the lone betting favorite that Campbell will be driving. She is trained by his brother, Jim, and last week won her elimination division going wire-to-wire in a romp by ten and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.2. Pocono Downs is her favorite track, having won her last three starts on her home turf, including her incredible world record mile in 1:51.3.
“She’s a little tough to drive,” Campbell said, “You have to be very careful with her. She is more edgy then we would like. We were very happy with the race last week as she behaved and won easily and I hope she comes back as she did last week in the elimination.”
The rest of Campbell’s drives are hopefuls with Bax Of Life the closest per morning line odds at 4-1. She was able to win her elimination division last week with Campbell by a nose in a lifetime best 1:52.4. But Maven was in the other division and she won for the ninth time with a world record 1:51.4 victory.
Last year Campbell was shut out of the Breeders Crown in eight drives with just two second place finishes. A rarity when you consider that he has won 45 Breeders Crown Finals in his career and the horses he has driven have earned over $20 million, nearly twice the amount of his nearest rival. You can never count him out in any race, especially the Breeders Crown.
By Brian McEvoy & Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com