02/10/2016 3:38PM

Brooks has trio for John B. Campbell

Nikki Sherman
Classic Giacnroll is one of three starters for trainer Gerald Brooks in Saturday's John B. Campbell at Laurel Park.

Trainer Gerald Brooks has entered three horses for owner Vince Campanella in the $75,000 John B. Campbell Stakes on Saturday at Laurel Park. On Wednesday, he said they all will start.

“Classic Giacnroll and Kobel run against each other all the time and take turns beating each other, so when you run one, you almost have to run the other,” Brooks said.

Brooks also will run Sheikinator, who in his first start for the stable Jan. 30 won a first-level Penn National allowance race by six lengths.

“Of the three, he will love the 1 1/8 miles the best,” Brooks said. “I talked with Mr. Campanella, and he said, ‘Let’s take a shot and run them all.’ ”

The three horses were previously trained by Keith Lebarron, a longtime top trainer at Parx Racing who died in December.

“Mr. Campanella sent me a horse at Mahoning Valley last year and another over the summer at Presque Isle,” Brooks said. “I took a horse for him at Laurel, and the horse came back to win, and he sent me seven more, including these three.”

Page McKenney figures to be a solid favorite in the Campbell, but he is nominated to the Grade 3, $250,000 General George on Monday and could run in that race, according to trainer Mary Eppler.

Brooks, 49, worked on trainer Tony Delloso’s farm in Woodbine, Md., as a youngster. He started out as a groom at Pimlico when he was 16 and took out his trainer’s license at 18.

“I bought a cheap horse from Tony Delloso, and I won with him on Oct. 31, 1985,” Brooks said. “He was my first starter.”

There have been times when Brooks worked for other horsemen rather than training on his own.

“I have done a lot of work for my two good friends, Mike Trombetta and Scott Lake,” Brooks said. “I traveled from state to state for Scott when he was big. They have two different ways of training, but when you put them together, they have it all. I’ve learned a lot from both of them.”

Brooks won a career-high 53 races last year, and his stable earned more than $1 million for the first time.

“We work hard, and I have very good people with me,” Brooks said. “We’ve done real well the past 1 1/2 or two years.”