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Campbell Comments On Classic Card


Published: June 3, 2009 7:27 pm ET

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The last preliminary round of the Classic Series is set for Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack and John Campbell has offered his thoughts on several of the likely fan favourites he will be driving.

Corleone Kosmos will be heading into the Trotting Classic off a second-place finish to Lucky Jim in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. It was Corleone Kosmos’ third start of the campaign, following a seventh-place finish in the Classic Series and third-place effort in his Cutler elimination.

“He’s improved each race, and that’s something you like to see,” Campbell said. “You just can’t expect these horses to be at their very best in their first or second start. They need a little bit of racing to get to that peak level. I look for him to keep getting better and, hopefully, return to the form he had last year.”

Tug River Princess was the three-year-old pacing filly champion last season and will be making her 2008 debut. She heads into the Classic Distaff off a qualifier at the Meadowlands, where she was second to Mister Big and timed in 1:54.

“I was very happy with her qualifier,” Campbell said. “We were hoping she would get a short field [this weekend] and that’s going to be to her advantage with just the one qualifier. We can race her the way we want and hopefully have her with a good closing kick. She’s bigger and stronger from last year. She’s really filled out and looks good. Her best qualities are attitude and determination. She’s just relentless. She gives you a really good effort every time.”

Bettor Sweet was scratched sick from the Graduate final at the Meadowlands last month just a week after blistering a 1:47.2 mile that was the fastest race by a four-year-old in history. He heads to the Pacing Classic coming off a 1:52.4 prep in a qualifier in which he covered the last quarter-mile in :26.1 seconds.

“I was ecstatic with his [Graduate elim] and all of the connections were disappointed when he had to be scratched,” Campbell said. “He bounced back with a real good qualifier. He’s in very good form right now. As long as he’s over his sickness, he’s going to race well. He was a maiden less than 12 months ago. He could get better, not only as this year goes along, but he is a horse that could come back next year even stronger. He’s catching onto the [mental] part of the equation. He is the type of horse I think will improve a lot from his four-year-old to five-year-old year.”

Up Front Hotsey was second to Falls For You in last year’s Armbro Flight, losing by a neck. She won at the Meadowlands on May 22 in 1:53.1, establishing the best victory time of her career.

“She’s had a tough time dealing with those top trotting mares before, but she was as good as she’s ever been in her last race,” Campbell said. “It’s just a question whether she can step up and compete with those top mares. [Starting from Post 9] compromises her a little bit because she’s better when she tracks horses and don’t have to use her the first half.”

To view Saturday's entries, click here.

(With files from Harness Racing Communications)

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