02/18/2017 6:10PM

Bodhisattva strikes at 22-1 in John Campbell Handicap

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Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
Bodhisattva, under Carlos Quinones, draws off to win the John Campbell Handicap by 3 3/4 lengths.

The biggest win of Bodhisattva’s 28-race career came when he flashed high speed to win the $100,000 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico as a 3-year-old in 2015. Generally, however, he’s a deep closer who needs to avoid traffic and make one big run.

Saturday at Laurel Park, as a 22-1 longshot, Bodhisattva got both a clean trip and a big closing kick to upset odds-on favorite Page McKenney in the $75,000 John B. Campbell Handicap.

In snapping a seven-race losing streak since his last win in the Carl Hanford Memorial at Delaware Park last July, Bodhisattva ($47.80), ridden by Carlos Quinones, followed up a good performance as the runner-up to Page McKenney, beaten 1 3/4 lengths, in last month’s Native Dancer at Laurel.

“I was surprised he was 22-1,” said owner--trainer Jose Corrales.” He was just second to this horse last time. I finally got a jockey willing to listen to me. He rode a good race.”

Corrales explained that Bodhisattva, a son of Student Council who is now 6 for 28 with earnings of $323,633, needs to be patiently ridden to be effective.

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“I don’t want him close to any other horses at the beginning,” Corrales said. “I said to just make one move and when you make it, just make sure you’re in the clear.

Page McKenney, scratched from the Grade 3 General George Handicap later on Saturday’s card, steadied to avoid clipping heels going around the first turn of the 1 1/8-mile Campbell and was taken back to seventh of nine by jockey Horatio Karamanos. When Karamanos asked Page McKenney for run, his mount surged up the rail and opened up a clear lead at the top of the stretch. Bodhisattva, ahead of just one horse after the first six furlongs went in 1:12.73, made a six-wide move into the stretch, passed Page McKenney by a half-length at the eighth pole, and drew away to win by 3 3/4 lengths while completing the nine furlongs in 1:50.78.

Page McKenney, bidding for his sixth win in his last seven starts dating back to November 2015, had to settle for second, 8 3/4 lengths ahead of Charitable Annuity.