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Campbell Battles During Mohawk Qualifiers

Published: May 15, 2015 12:15 pm ET

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At first glance, the Friday morning (May 15) qualifying session at Mohawk Racetrack looked relatively normal: eight races, returning stars and some glamour boys. Oh, and by the way, ‘Mr. Harness Racing’ John Campbell just happened to be battling on the track as well.

Campbell was up behind three horses during the qualifying session, each of which parade from the barn of trainer Bob McIntosh.

Campbell wasted no time getting reacclimated with the seven-eighths-mile Campbellville course, as he started Race 1 off with a jolt by firing out of Post 7 with top Pepsi North America Cup prospect Go Daddy Go.

Campbell and the three-year-old chestnut son of Ponder were first to the opening quarter (which was clicked off in :27.3). Go Daddy Go – who has been pegged at the 14-1 fifth choice in Trot Magazine’s 2015 Pepsi NA Cup Spring Book – went on to cut the opening half (:56.4) and were also first to the three-quarters pole (1:24.1).

Campbell and his charge held a two and a half-length lead at the head of the lane, but were ultimately usurped in the stretch by the James MacDonald-driven Sugarsam. The three-year-old Sportswriter gelding who is trained by Tony O’Sullivan had raced second throughout the mile and kicked into gear in the lane when asked. Sugarsam recorded a one-length win over Go Daddy Go and hit the wire in 1:52.1.

Campbell was right back at it in Race 2, as was up behind 2012 NA Cup winner Thinking Out Loud.

Campbell and the six-year-old son of Ponder fired from Post 6 and cut all the fractions (:27.4, :56, 1:23.1) before engaging in a battle in the lane. It was in the stretch where Campbell and Thinking Out Loud had to deal with 2013 Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation, who driven by Jonathan Drury for trainer Casie Coleman. The son of Bettors Delight has sat second in the race and was ready for a fight in the lane. When the dust settled, it was Vegas Vacation who had posted a neck victory over Campbell and Thinking Out Loud in a 1:50.3 mile.

They say that the third time’s the charm, and after having suffered narrow defeats in his first two drives, Campbell seemed intent on hitting the wire first in his third and final drive of the morning session.

Campbell was paired with three-year-old Ponder colt Thinkofagameplan in Race 5. After having lined up in Post 9, Campbell left with his charge and diced all the fractions (:28.1, :57.4, 1:26.2). Mr. Harness Racing was again engaged by a pocket-sitter in the lane (OK Heavenly, driven by Clarke Steacy), but fended off his foe and posted a one and a half-length victory in 1:54.1.

Race 6 saw 2014 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final winner Dont Rush record his first qualifying win of the season. The three-year-old Infinitif colt was driven by his trainer, Dustin Jones, and closed well in the lane to record a three-quarters-of-one-length victory in 1:59.1.

To view the complete harness racing results from the Friday qualifying session at Mohawk, click the following link: Friday Results – Mohawk Racetrack (Qualifiers).

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