In the 2008 Meadowlands Pace, Art Official handed Somebeachsomewhere his lone career loss with an epic performance.
Linda Toscano trained the third-place finisher — Share The Delight. The week before in the July 12 eliminations, the colt gave John Campbell his 10,000th career win.
What else happened in the 2008 Pace final?
Always A Virgin was on the card, too. He was a four-year-old making his sixth start of the year (5 2-0-2). He came off a sophomore season of 20 13-2-2, $1,022,703.
There were six Meadowlands Pace-winning trainers who raced on that card:
Mark Fiord (2000 Gallo Blue Chip); George Teague (2007 Southwind Lynx); Blair Burgess (2001 Real Desire, 1987 Frugal Gourmet); Mark Harder (2004 Holborn Hanover); Brian Magie (1996 Hot Lead); Monte Gelrod (2002 Mach Three).
Bullville Powerful supplemented for $100,000 that year. That money made the difference in Somebeachsomewhere setting the single-season earnings record that still stands ($2.448 million). That means he earned an extra $25,000 for finishing second.
What a Show Campbell has put on
Let’s take a look at some famous third-place finishes at the Meadowlands for John Campbell, the sport’s all-time money-leading driver:
• In the 2008 Meadowlands Pace, Campbell was third with Share The Delight in a race timed in a 1:47 world record.
• He was also third (with Supreme Dynasty) in the richest race ever held, the $2,161,000 Woodrow Wilson in 1984.
• In 1989, in the only dead heat in the Hambletonian in Meadowlands history, Campbell was third with Peace Corps behind Park Avenue Joe and Probe.
• In the third richest race ever — the $1,957,500 Woodrow Wilson in 1982 — Campbell was third with Big Band in a race won by Fortune Teller.
• He was third in three straight Meadowlands Pace finals from 1986-1988 with Amity Chef, Run The Table and Armbro Goal, respectively.
• In the 1983 Haughton final, Campbell was third with Jefs Eternity — the only mare in the field and the only female to ever defeat Cam Fella (April 9 of that year at Freehold). Cam Fella was the Haughton winner on this night. J Ds Buck was second).
Hoosier Park gearing up for its first ever Breeders Crown, will also be the first Breeders Crown without John Campbell driving in it. Campbell is the only driver to win Breeders Crowns driving in his 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
Odd stat of the day
Somebeachsomewhere earnings before the 2008 Meadowlands Pace career wise and his earnings after: $1,608,296 BEFORE and $1,613,003 AFTER. He won his first 10 and last 10 races.
Boys and girl
Spellbound Hanover, the dam of Marion Marauder the first Triple Crown winner in a decade, was the only filly to appear in the 2001 Townsend Ackerman. Her prized son Marion Marauder, now four, will likely meet up on occasion with the top trotting mares in 2017 (Hannelore Hanover, perhaps?)
Dave Miller’s million-dollar trotting win
David Miller’s first million-dollar trotting win came in 2000 at the Meadowlands in the Breeders Crown older trot that was carrying a $1 million purse for the first time. Miller won with Magician, a five-year-old gelding by Royal Prestige that was the second choice behind favored Moni Maker — the two-time defending Horse Of The Year. Earl Cruise trained Magician for William Augenstein.
Magician won by open lengths. Moni Maker was second en route to seasonal earnings of $1,200,190. His last four defeats (covering five races) coming into the Crown were at the hands of Rafaello Ambrosio, Nikki Cole Cole, Moni Maker and Fools Goal.
Miller was the sixth leading driver for the meet at this point with numbers reading 1,086: 122-140-113 .219 UDRS.
Can Miller break through in 2017 with his first Hambletonian victory?
What do these horses — Best Bizarre, Toroa and Minute Ms — have in common? All were siblings of Niatross and all raced at the Meadowlands trying to duplicate what their brother did.
Niatross’ 40th birthday
March 30 is the 40th anniversary of the birth of Niatross. The most dominant horse of his generation — and many others — was born seven months after the Meadowlands opened. Little did anyone at first realize, but he’d win his two biggest purse races in East Rutherford and be the last pacer to be both U.S. Horse of the Year at two and three in either standardbred or thoroughbred racing.