Marc Campbell admits there was something a little extra special about winning his third career Governor’s Plate.
It marked his first win with a horse that he also trains.
“I guess that is why I was a little extra excited at the wire,” said Campbell after steering Rose Run Quest to a 1:53 mile in the $25,000 Governor’s Plate, presented by Township Chevrolet Buick GMC and Noonan Petroleum.
The start of the Prince County’s most prestigious standardbred race, which was scheduled for 11:44 p.m., was pushed back to around midnight Saturday after No. 3 horse Burn Out Hanover got clear of his bike during an altercation on the backstretch during the pre-race introductions, unseated driver Gilles Barrieau and the four-year-old bay gelding ran around the track multiple times at full speed.
Burn Out Hanover was scratched, which meant everyone moved up a spot on the starting gate.
“That was very unfortunate,” said Campbell, who originally had drawn Post 6. “You don’t like seeing that happen.
“I think it changed the dynamics of the race a little bit. I might not have been able to be second-over if that horse had have been on the inside.”
Order of Finish
- Governor’s Plate order of finish, with drivers in parenthesis:
- 1. Rose Run Quest (Marc Campbell).
- 2. Do Over Hanover (Jason Hughes).
- 3. Down On My Luck (Walter Cheverie).
- 4. Euchred (David Dowling).
- 5. Bugsy Maguire (Myles Heffernan).
- 6. Czar Seelster (Kenny Arsenault).
- 7. Screen Test (Corey MacPherson).
- Burn Out Hanover (scratched).
Do Over Hanover, driven by Jason Hughes, finished second and Down On My Luck and Walter Cheverie completed the triactor.
“(The race) kind of set up how I figured it might,” said Campbell. “I thought I might be first-up, not second-over, which either way I was OK with.
“Like I said, he’s tough and can grind it out. When I tipped him off cover, he just exploded around the last turn and I was pretty confident then.
“You have to keep at him because he will get lazy on you down the lane and I didn’t want to lose this one by a nose.”
After an early battle with the rail-sitting Down On My Luck, Do Over Hanover cut the opening fraction of 27 seconds. Bugsy Maguire (Myles Heffernan Sr.) was first-over, followed by Rose Run Quest, at the half timed in 56.1. Rose Run Quest made his move three-wide just before the three-quarters, which was timed in 1:25, and never looked back.
“We were a little squeezed at the three-eights, it was a little tight,” explained Campbell, who drove Rose Run Quest to a 1:54.1 victory in the second of two $5,000 elimination races on July 7.
“I was OK taking Bugsy Maguire’s cover and he made a little skip up the backstretch and I said that’s my cue.
“I knew Czar Seelster and Euchred were back there and are really good horses, and I wanted to get a jump on them as well.”
Blair Hansen of Charlottetown owns the seven-year-old bay gelding by If I Can Dream-Letmedowneasy-Camluck. He finished third in the 2018 Gold Cup and Saucer in Charlottetown.
“It’s quite a thrill for us (to win our first Governor’s Plate),” said Hansen. “Last year, we missed out on it and it was pretty nice to get back in here this year.
“Marc did a heck of a job with him and it was a great, great trip for him.”
Campbell said he was thrilled to share the victory with the Hansens.
“It means a lot, especially with this horse and ownership,” said Campbell. “Blair and his wife (Judy) have been with me since I started out on my own. It’s a pretty cool experience.”
Hansen, who has owned horses for around 15 years, admitted having the opportunity to race in events like the Governor’s Plate is one of the reasons for being involved in the sport.
“Your old heart is just a pumping when you are over there, that’s for sure,” he said. “We were lucky we were able to get up to the fence, so it worked out.”
Campbell won the 2017 Governor’s Plate with Do Over Hanover and set the current track pacing record of 1:51.4 with YS Lotus in the 2016 Plate. While Campbell cherishes those wins, he added this year’s win is different.
“We have this horse at home on the farm and I see him every day,” said Campbell.