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Campbell celebrates birthday with Big M feature win
Saturday, April 09, 2016 - by Dave Little, for Meadowlands media

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East Rutherford, NJ---John Campbell celebrated his 61st birthday in style Friday night (April 8), guiding Melady’s Monet to victory in the featured $25,000 Open Handicap Trot at the Meadowlands.

Lisa photo
Melady's Monet won the Meadowlands Open Handicap Trot in 1:52.4 for driver John Campbell, who turned 61 Friday night.

Campbell, the all-time earnings leader in harness racing history with more than $296 million, sat a three-hole trip before going after the leader, 3-5 favorite Rose Run Parker, approaching the three-quarter mile marker.

Melady’s Monet wore down the pacesetter in midstretch on the way to 1½-length win in 1:52.4. Rose Run Parker held second. Not Afraid was third.

Making his seasonal debut, the 7-year-old son of Revenue S paid $9.80 to win as the 7-2 second choice in the wagering. After a big 2015 that saw him win 12-of-27 starts and earn $364,450, Melady’s Monet has now compiled 35 career victories in 114 starts for earnings of just over $768,000 for trainer Kevin McDermott and owners the Melady Enterprises of Pompano Beach, Fla.

Driver James Marshall IV and trainer Joe Hanney swept the two GSY Amateur events on the card, scoring with I C Caviar ($9.20 to win) in the first race and In Nomine Patri ($5.60) in the third. The amateur racing remained attractive to the betting public, as more than $500,000 was wagered on the two events.

All-source wagering on the 12-race card totaled $2,786,963, representing an increase of $271,567 over the corresponding program from a year ago.

The 12th race 20-cent Jackpot Super High Five was not hit, upping the carryover to $169,413.70.

Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Saturday, first race post time is 7:15 p.m.

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