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Cot Campbell: A Horse Life Well Lived (Video)

Cot Campbell interview

Dogwood President Cot Campbell owes the game of Thoroughbred racing nothing, and he knows the game owes him nothing in return. Still, to hear him speak plainly and poetically about the horses and game he loves, it seems fitting that the horse racing gods have granted him a Classic winner and second choice in Saturday's Travers Stakes in Palace Malice. A three-year-old son of Curlin purchased at Campbell's target price of $200,000, he says, if Palace Malice was a human, he would be someone you'd be happy to hang around. 


Quick with his wit and willing to laugh at himself, Campbell was the easiest of interviews. Questions were answered thoughtfully with room to both chuckle and learn. Our scheduled interview time of 10 minutes quickly went to 20, before I thought I should let the 85-year-old go on his Saratoga way. When we were done, Cot had a peppermint or two for Palace Malice and then slowly walked down trainer Todd Pletcher's shedrow with his wife, Anne, and I felt like a better person. 


Luckily, we'll still get to see the Dogwood silks into next year with 25 horses, including a group of two-year-olds in training. Campbell's aptly named last Dogwood purchase, Finalize, just may have the makings of a Classic winner. Maybe? It's at least fun considering that Campbell's last act in horse racing will carry on for an encore. 

 

Most in the horse racing industry at least "know of" Campbell, who has written about, spoken about and lived amongst Thoroughbreds at the highest levels (and lowest levels) for close to 50 years. Here is a man with a command of the language of horses and humans, generous in spirit and as authentic a person you'll meet. Do yourself a favor: watch and listen… 

 

 

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Older Comments about Cot Campbell: A Horse Life Well Lived (Video)...

Enjoyed spending time with Cot and Tony!
I had the privilege and pleasure to be present in the press room for the Belmont press conference after PM's win, and I don't think I've been as humbled by the presence of anyone in my life. He's one of my heroes and to get to meet and converse with him was amazing. He told me all about what PM meant to him and you could tell how happy and grateful he was to have a horse like Palace Malice. I'll never forget that experience.
Badabing, you've done it again. Another great interview! Thank you!
I wish I'd made a better point to meet him back in the day.
The best Cot Campbell interview I've ever seen. He's always been one of my favorites, and I look forward to his celebration on Saturday!

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Tony Bada Bing began his lifelong quest of finding winners more than 35 years ago as a fifth grade student. This is when his grandfather first took him to the many Off Track Betting facilities sprinkled throughout Long Island, NY. While many kids his age were clamoring to hit the beach or an amusement park during summer vacation, Bada Bing was spending it in stuffy, smoked-filled rooms filled with retirees and reprobates listening to Marshall Cassidy on tape delay calling Saratoga.

This passion was further lit by his father, who took Bada Bing to East Boston's Suffolk Downs, only after Bada Bing learned to read the Racing Form. For most of his young adult life a summer rotation of NY OTB, Suffolk, and the now shuddered Rockingham Park in Salem, NH filled his betting days. 

Notable winners along the way: Willow Hour's and Runaway Groom's Travers wins as well as Derby winners Grindstone, Thunder Gulch (which he called in print the day before) and Super Saver. His latest quest is to hit the Kentucky Derby superfecta.

Bada Bing plays tournaments at Derby Wars, bets through several account wagering sites and has blogged about Thoroughbred racing for the past four years. He prefers the bigger meets of NYRA and California as well as seasonal meets of Gulfstream, Churchill and Oaklawn. He likes vertical, multirace wagers like Pick 4s.

He has produced several Horse Racing Nation videos, in addition to blogging. He can be found at Twitter @tonycbadabing. While away from the track Bada Bing enjoys time with his wife, who tolerates and supports his passion, and his two children.