Souper Lucky took Laurel's Saturday allowance feature, a race in which one of our horses to watch, Bold Curlin, also competed. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

Souper Lucky is 6-1 on the morning line for Saturday’s John B. Campbell Handicap.  Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

From a Maryland Jockey Club release

One race prior to Saturday’s Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park, a field of 11 older males will tackle the $100,000 1 1/8 mile John B. Campbell Handicap, long a staple of first the Bowie winter schedule and later Laurel’s winter meet.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and his assistant, Dan Ward, who will send out Fritchie favorite Sam’s Sister, will also be represented in the Campbell, by Southern Freedom. The 4-year-old son of Pure Prize is set to make his stakes and dirt debut in the Campbell after racing exclusively on turf and synthetic surfaces in Southern and Northern California. The Kentucky-bred colt, whom Hollendorfer owns in partnership with Mark DeDomenico and George  Todaro — those three also being the co-owners of Sam’s Sister — as well as R. Dang and J. Kanakaris, will be ridden by Elvis Trujillo while receiving four pounds from starting 117-pound highweight Went the Day Well.

[boxify cols_use =”3″ cols =”6″ position =”right” box_spacing =”5″ padding =”3″ background_color =”gray” background_opacity =”10″ border_width =”1″ border_color =”blue” border_style =”solid” height =”310″ ]THE JOHN B. CAMPBELL FIELD

  1. Southern Freedom/15-1
  2. A.P. Cino/20-1
  3. Page McKenney/7-2
  4. Cerro/6-1
  5. Cosmic Gold/8-1
  6. Behemoth/20-1
  7. Turco Bravo/4-1
  8. Feisty Albert/10-1
  9. Went the Day Well/20-1
  10. Sailor’s Revenge/9-2
  11. Souper Lucky/6-1[/boxify]

“We were training him on the dirt last year to get him ready for Del Mar, so he ran on synthetic, and then on the turf, but we’re really looking forward to seeing what he can do on regular dirt,” Ward said. “He’s a nice horse. Mike Smith was working him last year, before his comeback, and he said, ‘Wow, I’d like to see this horse on dirt,’ so we’ll see if he was right.”

Oddly enough, Team Valor International and Mark Ford’s Went the Day Well, though assigned the high weight, is lined as a 20-1 outsider by Laurel Park linemaker Keith Feustle.  A graded-stakes winner who finished a close fourth behind I’ll Have Another in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, Went the Day Well is coming off a second-level optional claiming allowance at Aqueduct on Jan. 25.

Adam Staple and Jalin Stable’s Page McKenney, who has finished no worse than third in 11 straight races for trainer Mary Eppler, is set to make his first start since finishing second in the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 6.  Claimed for just $16,000 in 2013, Page McKenney won or placed in six stakes last year and earned over $300,000.  The 5-year-old son of Eavesdropper has been assigned to carry 115 pounds, including jockey Horacio Karamanos.

Also assigned 115 pounds is Sailor’s Revenge, who dead-heated for the win in the Auld Lang Syne Stakes at Parx on New Year’s Eve with Adirondack King, 10 lengths clear of the rest of the field. Kendrick Carmouche has been named to ride the Kathleen De Masi-trained gelding, who was claimed for $25,000 three starts back for Pewter Stable.

Live Oak Plantation’s Souper Lucky was entered in the Campbell in a quest to win three straight races at Laurel. The 4-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, who won back-to-back optional claiming allowance races, most recently defeating two of today’s rivals in a very impressive effort, has been assigned 114 pounds. Julien Pimentel has been named to ride the Michael Trombetta-trained gelding.

Cosmic Gold, who won three straight races at Laurel before finishing third in the $100,000 Native Dancer on Jan. 3; Turco Bravo, the runner-up in the Jazil Stakes at Aqueduct and the Native Dancer at Laurel in his last two; and PTK LLC’s Cerro, who finished a close third in the Claiming Crown Jewel two starts back; are also among the top contenders in the Campbell.

Defending champ Behemoth, A.P. Cino, and Feisty Albert round out the field.