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Jimanator Upsets Heart Butte In John B. Campbell Handicap
LAUREL, MD. 02-18-12---Three Diamonds Farm’s Jimanator took the lead, gave it up but took it back again to win the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap at Laurel Park.
Junior Alvarado gave a heads up ride aboard the 6-year old gelding, a Mike Trombetta trainee who was winning his second added-money race since being claimed for $20,000 last summer at Saratoga.
Jimanator assumed the early lead, passing the first furlong marker in 25 1/5 while being chased by 4-5 favorite Heart Butte. The latter applied pressure, took the lead away entering the far turn and was rolling along in front until Jimanator reasserted himself at the top of the lane, where he finally pulled away to win by four lengths. He completed the 1-1/8 miles distance in 1:49.95.
“Mike pretty much left it up to me as to how much pace I would try to make in the race. My horse broke really well and was running pretty slow up front so I just kind of nudged him up and got to the lead,” Alvarado said. “At the half-mile pole I sensed that I was starting to get some pressure. My horse was very relaxed so I waited and let the six (Heart Butte) come up to me. He got about a half-length in front for a couple strides but then I asked my horse to respond and he just drew off from there.”
The winner paid $8.60. Thunder Lord rallied to edge Heart Butte for second. The exacta returned $31.80 and the triple paid $62.20.
“We were in a good spot but the pace was way too slow,” said Ramon Dominguez, who rode the favorite. “Turning for home when I asked him to go the winner kicked into another gear while my horse got tired.”
Jimanator finished third in both the Evening Attire and Auld Lang Syne after a score in the Fred Hopper Stakes (G3) in November. The son of Broken Vow has three wins and has not been off the board in six starts in the Trombetta barn.
“He is a tough horse,” said Trombetta, who won the 2006 Campbell with Your Bluffing. “He comes ready to fight. He was giving weight to I Want Revenge in New York in his last start and it took its toll. He is a nice horse who hasn’t let us down yet.”
Trombetta had two wins on the Saturday card and ranks third in the winter standings