It was advertised as Lady Baltimore night at Freestate Raceway Saturday, but it turned out to be John Campbell night.
Campbell drove home the winners in all three divisions of the event for 2-year-old pacing fillies, thus showing why he will become harness racing's all-time leading money-winner this year at the age of 32.
Campbell's three stakes victories Saturday gave him six divisional victories in the six-year history of the Lady Baltimore. The late Billy Haughton is second behind Campbell, with two victories.
Although Campbell drove the favorite in each of the divisions, his driving skills supplied the margin of victory.
At the start of the final division, Campbell and So Cozy were stuck on the outside with nowhere to go.
When a hole finally opened at the quarter-mile mark, Campbell surprisingly decided to stay on the outside. That turned out to be the winning decision.
If Campbell had moved to the rail at the quarter, So Cozy would have been hopelessly boxed in by other horses. Instead, Campbell kept the powerful So Cozy on the outside for more than a half-mile before pacing by Glider to gain the lead and the rail.
So Cozy went on to win in 1:56 4/5, equaling the track record for 2-year-old fillies set by Halcyon in last year's Lady Baltimore.
For the victory, So Cozy earned $62,500 plus a $50,000 bonus for winning a division of the Hanover Filly Stakes last week at Freestate. She has won $645,443 this season.
In the second division, Campbell guided Marcasite off the rail just past the quarter-mile point to gain the lead from Lady Longlegs by the half. Marcasite went on to an easy 3 1/4-length victory in 1:57 4/5.
In the first division, Campbell's alertness kept Huna Buna from quitting the race an eighth of a mile too soon. Holding a two-length lead at the top of the stretch, Huna Buna began to bolt to the outside. "She's still a green filly," Campbell said afterward. "She wanted to run into the paddock gate."
Campbell, however, quickly regained control of Huna Buna to win in 1:58 2/5.