Ideal Fashion is the ideal example.
The 2-year-old colt pacer, a half-brother to stakes-winner Fashion Delight, heads into Saturday's Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile having won one of seven races and earned $27,408. Ideal Fashion, a son of out of the mare BJ's Sunshine, competes in the fourth of four Bluegrass divisions.
"I trained him this morning, and the way he trained, it blows my mind that he hasn't done more," Campbell said. "He trains as good as any horse I have in the barn. I have no answer why, but it just hasn't carried over into his races. But I think he still has it in him."
Ideal Fashion was purchased as a yearling for $115,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale under the name Bonaparte Bluechip. He is owned by Fashion Farms, which also owned Fashion Delight prior to this year.
"He's a big colt; he did a lot of growing in the spring," Campbell said. "Hopefully he can mature and put it all together."
Ideal Fashion is one of two 2-year-old colt pacers competing on Saturday for Campbell. The other is Sometimes Said, a son of -Lady Sometimes.
Sometimes Said is coming off a second-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. He won his division of the Historic-Goshen Cup in August and has finished no worse than second in five consecutive races. He has won once in seven starts, banking $140,924.
"I've been very happy with him," Campbell said. "He's a very versatile horse. You can race him any way you want."
Campbell's Bluegrass week kicks off Thursday night when Cooler Schooner races in the third of three Bluegrass divisions for 2-year-old filly trotters. The split also includes Merrie Annabelle winner Shake It Cerry and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Designed To Be.
Cooler Schooner opened eyes with a world-record 1:51.3 win in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Aug. 21 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She followed up with another sire stakes victory, this one in a track-record 1:54.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia, before finishing fourth in the sire stakes final Sept. 15.
"She scoped sick after her last start, so we're hoping she rebounds," Campbell said. "She seems good. She shipped in (to Lexington) on Sunday and she's acted good all week."
Cooler Schooner, who has won three of eight starts, is a full sister to 2009 Hambletonian Oaks winner Broadway Schooner.
"Personality-wise, she's pretty much a clone of Broadway," Campbell said. "But Cooler has a more efficient gait. Not that Broadway was bad, but this one is just better. And she's more advanced at (age) 2 than Broadway.
"I always knew she had speed, but I never thought she would go in (1):51.3," Campbell added. "She's perfect to be around; a real sweetheart. She can get a little keyed up when racing, but that's just her nature."
On Friday, Campbell sends Gallie Bythe Beach into the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers. She is a daughter of out of the millionaire mare Galleria.
There are three divisions of the Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers, with Gallie Bythe Beach in the third. The first division features multiple-stakes-winner Precocious Beauty, who is the No. 10 ranked horse in harness racing's current Top 10 poll.
Gallie Bythe Beach has won five of eight races, including three divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes, and earned $304,004. She finished second to Precocious Beauty in the She's A Great Lady Stakes and also finished second in the sire stakes final.
"She's having a really nice year," Campbell said. "She's a real professional. She trained down pretty good, but training down and racing are two different things. She's been real good."
Ideal Fashion, Sometimes Said, Cooler Schooner and Gallie Bythe Beach are all eligible to the Breeders Crown. Eliminations for the Breeders Crown are scheduled for Oct. 11-12 and the finals are Oct. 19 at Pocono Downs.
"The plan is for Gallie and Cooler to race one time in Lexington and then go home and get ready for the Breeders Crown," Campbell said. "With the others, we'll see how it goes and play it by ear."
by Ken Weingartner for USTA