Campbell close to milestone
Former Gold Cup and Saucer finalist joins Island ranks
The racing season will shortly turn out the lights for a winter hiatus, but one of the track’s most decorated reinsman has a milestone to hit first.
Marc Campbell is on the cusp of career win No. 1,500 with just one more win needed to get him there. The 31-year-old driver has accomplished a lot since scoring his first ever pari-mutuel victory behind his own trainee, Crestwave Gaze, on July 24, 2004, at the Summerside Raceway. The two-time Gold Cup and Saucer winning driver and O’Brien Award winner just finished his eighth straight season where he won over 120 races in the bike. Campbell has six drives on the Saturday afternoon program at the Charlottetown Driving Park, with Casimir Luciano likely to give him a solid shot at the milestone in his first race of the day in Race 3.
The CDP has a 13-dash card programmed for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with the final card of the winter meet set for Jan. 30 before racing resumes at the track on April 23.
My wishes for a speedy recovery go out to popular CDP paddock judge George (Butch) Ward, who has been out of action the past few race cards while dealing with health issues. Everyone in Island racing is hoping to see him back soon in his familiar post.
A former Gold Cup and Saucer finalist has made his way into the Island racing circuit and will make his local debut Saturday afternoon. Smokin Bear is entered in race 10 with Mike McGuigan in the bike for trainer Kenneth Wilkie and owner Jamie Whalen of Vernon Bridge. The sevenyearson of Grinfromeartoear boasts 18 lifetime wins and $147,996 in earnings along with a 1:51.2 record taken at Woodbine Raceway in Ontario. Smokin Bear was a finalist in the 2013 Gold Cup and Saucer final with Anthony MacDonald in the bike for trainer Wayne Preszcator after finishing second in his trial. That Sunday afternoon trial featured an unforgettable trip by Proven Lover, who laid parked by Clic K through torturous fractions. The final was won by Escape The News and Campbell.
Another newcomer to Island racing is Montana Ben, who is now trained by Mike Ramsay of Summerside. The four-year-old son of Western Terror has a 1:57.3 record at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa in his lone career victory and is entered in Race 5 Saturday with CDP’s leading driver, Corey MacPherson, in the bike.