If the result of today’s Grade 1 Triple Bend did not provide you with some good vibrations, you best double check yourself for a pulse. Showing an even stronger rally than the one that carried him to a second place finish in last year’s Triple Bend, Camp Victory sailed by heavily favored The Factor down the Hollywood Park stretch to win the $250,000 co-feature by 3 1/4 impressive lengths at odds of 10-1. But the real story, wasn’t so much the actual race, but rather, what the victory meant to the winning trainer, Mike Mitchell, and all of his many supporters.
The 64-year-old, Mitchell, a successful mainstay on the Southern California circuit for many years, underwent brain surgery yesterday at the University of Southern California Medical Center to remove a tumor that had been diagnosed only days before. Mitchell is reported to have gone through this surgery well.
His daughter, Shea, who is engaged to Eclipse Award winning jockey, Julien Leparoux, has kept the industry up to date with her father’s progress the past few days with the following messages on Twitter:
“Thankful for so much love & prayers. Dad is out of surgery & doing very well.”
“Dad is in good spirits. The Mitchell family is reunited & will cheer on Camp Victory from the hospital. He's my hero.”
“The first grade 1 when my whole family has been together. Screaming and crying from the hospital room. Best win of our life. #mikemitchell”
The win under rider, Joe Talamo, was the 8th in 23 career starts for Camp Victory, whose biggest victory before today came when he was placed first over the disqualified Amazombie in last year’s Los Angeles Handicap, also at Betfair Hollywood Park. The final winning time for the five-year-old gelding was 1:22.75 for the seven panels.
On paper it was a big win for a very good sprinter today at Hollywood Park, but in real life, it was so much more. Get well soon, Mike!