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LAUREL, MD – Three Diamonds Farm’s Bonus Points continued displaying his affinitity for Laurel Park on Saturday when he was able to rally the length of the stretch and get up just in time to win the $100,000 John B. Campbell Stakes.
Breaking from post 10 under Feargal Lynch at 11/1 odds, Bonus Points took back and settled near the rear. Meanwhile, Johnny Jump Up did exactly that out of the gate, taking command heading into the first turn before posting opening fractions of :23.51 and :46.65. Ranging up as the field entered the far turn, Bonus Points was forced to run six-wide, while along the rail, Unbridled Juan found an opening midway through the turn and shot through to take the lead. With the 6/5 favorite Monongahela directly along his inside, Bonus Points put forth a strong rally the length of the stretch. Unbridled Juan drifted out slightly, but Bonus Points was undeterred. In the shadow of the wire, the Todd Pletcher trainee poked his neck in front to cross first in a final time of 1:46.93 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the fast main track.
“I was pleased when I saw the 1/4- and 1/2-mile time; I felt like that would help him,” Pletcher said by phone from Gulfstream Park. “Feargal gave him a smart ride and seems to have a good rapport with the horse. It was a good stretch battle and he just kept finding a little more. It looked like it was going to be close that last 1/16 and it was one those things where who’s going to want it more at the end. He kept finding more. It was fun to watch and I’m proud of him for getting it done.”
Monongahela fought strongly along the inside and was able to out-bob Unbridled Juan by a neck for second. Behind the three-way thriller up front came General Downs, with Marengo Road and Leitone taking fifth and sixth, respectively. Grasshoppin and a spent Johnny Jump Up completed the order of finish. Colonel Juan, Discreet Lover, Forewarned, and Liberty Lane were all scratched.
Bonus Points’ win was his first since taking an allowance race here last November and improved his overall record to 25-7-5-4, which includes a local record of 8-4-3-0. The 5-year-old son of Majestic Warrior increased his career bankroll to $592,684.
Bonus Points returned $25.40 to win, $7.80 to place, and $3.80 to show. Monongahela brought back $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show, while Unbridled Juan paid $2.40 to show.
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