by Dean Hoffman
By 2006, John Campbell was well established as harness racing’s leading driver. His horses had earned more money—-almost 250 million dollars—-than any other driver. He had won all of harness racing’s greatest classics—-many of them several times.
Campbell was also harness racing’s most articulate spokesman, always saying the right things and always presenting a professional appearance.
But in 2006 one thing bothered John Campbell. He was now 51 years old and hadn’t won a Hambletonian in almost a decade. From 1987 through 1998, Campbell practically owned the Hambletonian, winning it five times.
In 2006, he was driving Glidemaster, sent off at 6-1 odds from post eight.
The early pace was fast—-too fast—-and Campbell sensed that. He kept Glidemaster back in the pack. He knew the leaders would come back to him in the homestretch. When they did, Campbell had Glidemaster positioned perfectly. The colt did the rest.
It was victory number six in the Hambletonian for John Campbell, an unprecedented feat, and a reminder why John Campbell is the greatest driver in harness racing history.
Catch this year’s Hambletonian on August 2nd on CBS Sports Network (check here for channel and availability in your area). A live streaming broadcast can also be view here and all the pre-, during, and post-race action can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.