Imp Society, highweighted at 125 pounds for today's 31st running of the $181,850 John B. Campbell Handicap at Pimlico, fought off several early challenges under the patient guidance of Pat Day, then responded with a powerful stretch run to defeat Moro by more than two lengths. Light Spirits was third.
Imp Society's time for the 1 1/4 miles was 2:03, breaking the old mark of 2:04 1/5 set by Yankee Blaze in 1963.
Imp Society was rated a head behind Tim Tamber shortly after the start of the race, and the pair were soon joined by Island Champ, last year's winner of the Campbell when it was run at Bowie.
The trio led until the stretch turn, where Moro, ridden by Donald Miller, rallied from far back with a powerful rush on the outside.
Day whipped the winner several times and put the son of Barrera to a smooth drive that left no doubt that Imp Society is the East's leading handicap performer. "When I asked him to run, he ran away from them all," said Day, last year's Eclipse Award-winning jockey.
The victory was Imp Society's 10th in 19 lifetime starts and the $121,465 first-prize money today brought his earnings over the $450,000 mark.
Pimlico continued its upward climb in the statistics when 15,315 fans wagered $2,054,472. The track is averaging 9,268 customers, a 5.2 increase, and they have bet an average of $1,256,173 daily -- a 6.4 increase.