Back in the day, when the hair wasn’t gray and simulcasting was off in the future somewhere, when there were fewer opportunities for big money stakes in the Northeast, the John B Campbell Handicap was a thing. It was a big money, well supported event, even by the New York uppercrust.
The race honors a man who was said by old-schoolers to be one of the best racing secretaries and handicapper ever. Today the money is not as great and with handicaps out of fashion, it’s now the Campbell Stakes. Perhaps somehow it can transition to its former glory; although odds are against.
But it’s always a good betting race and this edition is no exception–even if it appears the Servis brothers might have this race surrounded.
There are several major players among the nominees: Back-on-track Alwaysmining, 8-for 11 at Laurel and winner of the Jennings prep; Long Branch winner and Belmont third, Joevia.
And there’s John Servis’ Someday Jones, winner of the Native Dancer in his Laurel return and either or both Monongahela, with a (10) 4-2-2 slate at the trip [beat Someday Jones here] and Sunny Ridge from brother Jason, a need-no-introduction earner of almost $1.5 million.
Go to the Laurel Live Video on the homepage and check out Someday Jones winning the Native Dancer, RACE 6, DEC 28.
Will have selections for Saturday for some, if not all, of the stakes highlighted this week