It’s amazing what a Super Derby victory can do,
especially if you are Fair Grounds-based jockey Jesse Campbell and
you’re going to get to ride Adele Dilschneider’s 2010 Grade II Super Derby
winner Apart back once again in Saturday’s Grade III Mineshaft Handicap
at Fair Grounds.
The Mineshaft ’Cap is the final tune-up for the Grade II
New Orleans Handicap five weeks later on Louisiana
Derby Day March 26.
Campbell, who grew up in Lake Zurich, Illinois, in the
vicinity of Arlington Park, and was Chicago-based in previous years, switched
his tack to Louisiana Downs last summer and enjoyed immediate success, capping
off the season with a win in the showcase race of the Shreveport meeting.
“My first emotions (after the Super Derby) were that you
work a long time for moments like that,” said Campbell
during training hours Wednesday. “I thought of my grandparents and my parents (Mike
and Janice), of course, because my Dad trains horses and I knew they
were watching the Super Derby simulcast from their box at Arlington.
Naturally, the win was a highlight for the whole family.
“I had told my wife Ally during dinner the night
before the race that I had a lot of confidence in myself and the horse going
in, and things went pretty much the way I thought they would,” said Campbell,
“but you never really know what’s going to happen. It was weird, because once I
knew I was going to win, the last 70 yards or so went by really fast because he
was running so fast, but for me, my whole thought process slowed down and it
was like the race was going on in slow motion. It was hard to describe that
“Then, what made it really great was that when I walked
back to the jock’s room, it was like half the riders in the room were waiting
for me outside to congratulate me,” Campbell said. “Guys like Boo Boo
(Kerwin) Clark – he was one of the old veteran jockeys at Arlington
when I first started riding – and to be able to see someone like that being
genuinely happy for you was a great feeling. I never dreamed I’d be in a
position like that with someone like that when I first started riding.
“As for the race Saturday, I’m looking forward to it,”
“I worked (Apart) before he ran here last time (in the $60,000 Louisiana
Handicap with Garrett Gomez aboard), and he worked very well for me. All
I can do now is hope for racing luck. I know Al (trainer Stall)
has a lot of confidence in the horse, and if he has a lot of confidence, I have
a lot of confidence.”