PEI

'King of Island Racing' sets new record for season wins at CDP

It was a race card for the history books Saturday afternoon at the Charlottetown Red Shores Racetrack as Marc Campbell broke his own record for wins in a single season.

Campbell still has three more race dates to add to his tally of wins

Marc Campbell set a new record with victories 131 and 132 on Saturday December 10th. (Red Shores Charlottetown)

It was a race card for the history books Saturday afternoon at the Charlottetown Red Shores Racetrack and Casino as Marc Campbell set a new record for most wins in a single season. He logged victories number 131 and 132 in 2016.

Campbell was breaking his own record set in 2011. That year, he surpassed the previous record of 118 wins in a season, set by the late Paul MacDonald. That record had stood since 1987.

"The first time I broke it I felt a lot of pressure," said Campbell, who was then just 27.

"This year I just kind of went with it, I'm a little bit older now, if it worked, it worked."

'Get it over with'

Campbell, whose nickname is the King of Island Racing, also recorded his 200th Maritime win for the season, in the same race as he broke the record.

"That's what I set my goal at, after Old Home Week," said Campbell. "It all just happened in the same win to break my record and set 200 so that was cool."

On December 3rd, Marc Campbell tied his record. (Red Shores Charlottetown)

There was an unofficial "Marc Campbell Watch" happening at the Charlottetown Driving Park as everyone waited to see if there would be a new record in 2016.

"It's good to get it over with," said Campbell. "I was kind of reaching for it and the last few cards made it harder, I didn't have a great lineup and I drew bad."

"We got it done this week."

Freddie for the win

Campbell got it done in race number four of the afternoon, driving one of the horses he trains, which made the victory even sweeter.

He picked up Freddie earlier in the year for a group of owners called the Three Wise Men Stable, which includes Compass sports columnist Fred "Fiddler" MacDonald. The name Freddie, however, is purely coincidental.

Campbell has a soft spot for Freddie, one of a couple of horses that got him ten wins this season.

"He's won a lot of races for me, he helped me get the record," said Campbell.

"So to win it with him was pretty special."

Marc Campbell with Freddie, the horse that he was driving when he set the new record for most wins in a season at the Charlottetown Driving Park. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

In race number 12, Campbell again was first to cross the line to boost his total of wins on the season to 132.

More races to come 

It was also sweet for Campbell to have his family and friends there to watch him set a new record.

"It's nice, I get family and friends here every week, my kids are here all the time and they get to watch me do what I want to do, what I love to do," explained Campbell.

Harness racing's richest horse, Foiled Again — a 12-year-old standardbred driven by Charlottetown's Marc Campbell — finished fifth in the 2016 Gold Cup and Saucer race. (Al McCormick/CBC)

And while he has broken the old record, there are still three race cards left in 2016, so Campbell can still add more victories to the new record.

"I just want to add to the total, the pressure is off now," said Campbell.

"I just hope it brings some good PR to the game, maybe bring a few extra people to the track to watch it."

Adding to what has already been a record-breaking season, Campbell was recently nominated for the O'Brien Award for Horsemanship, one of the top honours in harness racing in Canada.

Marc Campbell holds the Gold Cup and Saucer after his 2015 victory. (CBC)

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