In A Class By Himself

Published: April 8, 2015 08:37 am EDT

Earlier this year, hockey great Jean Beliveau passed away. There were tributes by the dozens for the gentleman many consider to be the one of the classiest players to ever play in the NHL.

One story in particular grabbed my attention. It was about how Beliveau kept his name and number in the phone book in Montreal, answered calls from virtually anyone and always returned phone calls to fans. That's just how he was.

On Tuesday morning, I gave John Campbell a call. The reception between his cell phone and mine wasn't great, so he quickly offered to call me back from his home phone, without any warning that I was calling or knowing why I was calling. A 25-minute conversation followed.

We have a number of living Hall of Famers in our midst (and a few more upcoming with yesterday's announcement) but the class in which John Campbell conducts himself on and off the track isn't to be overlooked or taken for granted. By the end of 2016, Campbell could reach the $300 million mark in lifetime earnings -- an unparalleled accomplishment in horse racing, and something yet to be achieved by a driver or a jockey. It's a testament to his skill and longevity, but also a testament to his class.

To be the top money-earning driver in harness racing, you need to deliver when the major money is on the line. There are limited opportunities in million-dollar races, and Campbell's record in those highly lucrative events is stellar with 20 wins -- more than any other driver in harness racing. I asked John to look back at some of those million dollar moments, and compiled his responses as a tribute to the Hall of Famer, who is celebrating a birthday today. Happy Birthday, John.

To view the online feature, click the following link: John Campbell's Million-Dollar Moments


The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

Comments

It has been a long time. I was wondering if a horse called Popular Benny helped get John's career going?
This horse set track records on B tracks back then.

This man is a true Canadian sports hero. Please find a way to get this story into the mainstream media. Happy birthday John - thanks for the memories

"Happy Birthday" John Campbell. If you look in the dictionary under "class" his picture should be there. It also could be there under family man, friend and professional. Has lost his touch to make horses go fast?... I noticed a horse called Radar Contact which he drove last week only came last 1/4 of a 1:50 mile in 25.3/5 !!!!!! "LONG LIVE THE KING".

I remember the days back at Windsor raceway when you were starting your career, you have come a long way from where you started in the sixties. I congratulate you on your hard work and tenacity and do really hope and pray that your health holds out so that you can achieve this milestone. Good luck, good health to you and yours and a very happy birthday. Ron (from the once Gerry Aiken stables).