Heyden Crunches Campbell, Pierce

Published: June 22, 2010 11:44 am EDT

Meadowlands Racetrack Statistician Bob 'Hollywood' Heyden is back crunching numbers once again. Some of the industry's top talent is descending upon Mohawk Racetrack for Saturday's $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup. Included in that group are drivers John Campbell and Ron

Pierce, whose resumes speak for themselves.

Heyden has focused in on Campbell and Pierce heading into the rich Cup final.

Pierce-Campbell: The Long Standing Rivalry (All Speed Hanover-Rock N Roll Heaven)

• Campbell and Pierce sit first and third, respectively, in all-time purse earnings amongst drivers.

• The first time they finished 1-2 in a big-money race? In the 1989 Woodrow Wilson, which went for a purse of $907,000. Sam Francisco Ben, driven by Pierce, emerged as the winner. In The Pocket and Campbell finished second.

  • 1993 Hambletonian: American Winner over Pine Chip (Pierce over Campbell)
  • 1997 Meadowlands Pace: Dream Away Over At Point Blank (Pierce over Campbell)
  • 2006 NA Cup: Total Truth over Feelin Friskie (Pierce over Campbell)
  • 2009 NA Cup: Well Said over Art Colony (Pierce over Campbell)

• There are two drivers in history who've had a streak of four straight years with either the Pacer or Trotter of the Year: Campbell and Pierce.

Driver Injuries and Their Impact on Big Money Races

• 1993 NA Cup: Jack Moiseyev injured the day of the NJ Classic; Ron Waples takes over the assignment on Presidential Ball and wins both the NJ Classic and the Cup. Moiseyev returns to win the Pace

• 1992 Little Brown Jug: Mickey McNichol hurts his back; Ron Waples gets the drive on Fake Left and valiantly holds off Western Hanover to win the Triple Crown event.

• 2006: George Brennan subs for an injured John Campbell (broken leg sustained in Breeders Crown elims at Woodbine Racetrack) and guides Glidemaster to victory in the Yonkers Trot to complete the Triple Crown and was named Horse of the Year in the United States.

The Aging of Racing's Big Race-Winning Drivers

• There were 31 races valued at $1 million in the recently concluded decade (US funds only).

• 14 of those 31 were won by a driver past his 50th birthday.

• Four of the six richest races ever held in Canada were won by a driver north of his 50th birthday:

  • The 2001 Canadian Trotting Classic (at the time was the richest trotting race in Canadian history at $1,120,250) was won by SJs Caviar and driver Bob Blanton, who was 59 at the time.
  • The 2001 Metro Pace (the richest two-year-old race ever contested in Canada at $1,123,400) was won by Mach Three, who was driven by a 50-year-old Mike Lachance.
  • The 2006 NA Cup, which went for a purse of $1.5 million, was won by Total Truth and driver Ron Pierce, who turned 50 that same week.
  • The 2009 NA Cup, worth $1.5 million, was won by Well Said and driver Ron Pierce, who was 53 years old at the time.

What Goes Around…

• In 2000, Dan Dube got the drive on Gallo Blue Chip when John Campbell, who won the Burlington with both Twin B Champ and Gallo Blue Chip, opted off of 'Gallo' for the NA Cup elims. Gallo then swept the elim and final, won the Meadowlands Pace, set a single-season earnings record, was named US Horse of the Year and went on to become history's richest-ever pacer. Now Dube is out with injuries, and John Campbell gets the assignment on Rock N Roll Heaven…

Oddest Stat of the Day

John Campbell has never driven a Burlington Stakes winner to victory in the North America Cup…

• 1993 Life Sign
• 1995 No Standing Around
• 1996 Red Bow Tie
• 2000 Twin B Champ
• 2000 Gallo Blue Chip
• 2004 Metropolitan

…but leads all drivers by a country mile with six NA Cup wins, all of which came in the 1990s.