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Super Derby Jump Starts Campbell's Career

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI

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 feeling.

 

“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,” concluded Campbell. “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.”

 

 

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