LAUREL, MD. 02-20-14---Trainer Linda Gaudet has a 40 percent chance of winning the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap, the co-feature Saturday afternoon at Laurel Park. The 1 1/8 mile test for older runners is race six on the card headlined by the $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2).
Managed Account, who finished first or second in seven of 10 starts since being claimed by Jamie Ness a year ago, is the 3-5 morning line favorite. The son of Malibu Moon won a pair of stakes races last fall and ran a career-best 94 Beyer speed figure in a third place finish in the Native Dancer Stakes here January 25.
Gaudet will counter with Wild Louis (3-1) and defending champion Concealed Identity (15-1).
Wild Louis has hit the board in 10-of-14 starts since being claimed by Gaudet in December 2012, including a runner-up finish in the Maryland Million Classic and a solid third in the Jennings Handicap behind Eighttofasttocatch last fall.
â€œHe is a very consistent horse who is easy to train,â€ Gaudet said. â€œHe is a nice horse. He eats, he trains and is just good to be around. If we had 50 of him, we would be really happy.â€
Concealed Identity won six times in his first 14 races, including three stakes but the son of Smarty Jones has visited the winnersâ€™ circle just once in his last 20 starts, a victory in the 2013 Campbell at odds of 7-1.
â€œWe were looking for an easier spot for him but this race didnâ€™t come up tough,â€ added Gaudet. â€œHe likes the distance and has been training great since his last start (January 25). He has two bullet works and he couldnâ€™t be coming into the race any better.â€
Two horses looking for their first stakes wins, Mercenary (6-1) and Behemoth (6-1), round out the field.