For the past week, trainer John Tammaro III had been telling anyone who would listen that his horse, Majesty's World, was "ready for a big one; don't ignore his chances in the Campbell."
Those who listened were rewarded with a $61.20 winning mutuel yesterday as Majesty's World came from well off the pace to beat Sunny Winters by a nose in the $140,100 John B. Campbell Handicap. It took a track-record 2:03 2/5 in the seldom-raced 1 1/4-mile distance to do it. The old track record of 2:04 was set by Mr. George on a frozen track in 1978.
Thirty Eight Paces, highweighted with 123 pounds in the 10-horse field, finished third, another nose back. Peat Moss, the 3-to-2 favorite, finished fifth and never was in contention.
Thirty Eight Paces was sent to the front, followed closely by Sunny Winters.
The pair ran that way until the stretch where Sunny Winters surged up to challenge, along with Decent Davey.
As they approached the wire, Thirty Eight Paces and Sunny Winters continued their head-and-head struggle while Majesty's World and Princelet accelerated on the outside.
"This is the biggest purse I've ever won and I have been in this business as an owner-breeder for a long time," said John D. Marsh, who took home the $91,065 winner's share of a record Bowie gross purse.