02/14/2003 1:00AM

Campbell has that replay look


Less than two lengths separated the first five horses across the wire in last month's Native Dancer Stakes at Laurel Park.

Get ready for a possible rerun. All five are back to run 1 1/8 miles again in Saturday's $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap.

The popular Maryland veteran P Day, still going strong at age 8, was all out to win the Native Dancer by a head. It was his 11th victory in 27 career starts at Laurel.

An ultra-consistent performer, P Day has posted four consecutive Beyer Speed Figures between 96 and 98, including stakes victories in his two most recent starts.

Ryan Fogelsonger, the meet's leading rider, says P Day, a homebred of trainer Charlie Hadry, has a tremendous will to win.

"I have been on him twice and he is one of my favorites," Fogelsonger said. "A lot of the same horses he faced are in this race and all were right there at the wire last time, so we have our work cut out. But he is a tough horse and finds ways to win."

Collectively, the 11 older horses in the Campbell have won 81 races and more than $3 million, so P Day will have plenty of competition.

With a cleaner trip, 8-year-old Full Brush might have beaten P Day in the Native Dancer. Full Brush had to wait for an opening between horses in upper stretch, then was bothered slightly with about a furlong remaining and just missed. Three of his last four Beyer Figures have been either a 98 or 99.

Hay Getoutofmyway finished third, a neck behind P Day in the Native Dancer. Near-misses are the story of the 4-year-old Hay Getoutofmyway's career. In eight starts at Laurel, he has just one win and five seconds.

The same can be said of Pickupspeed, who has gone a year since his last victory. Recently, Pickupspeed has been knocking on the door, losing his last three starts, all in stakes, by a combined three lengths.

Lyracist won the Campbell a year ago at 16-1 odds and came from far back to finish within 1 3/4 lengths of P Day in the Native Dancer. That was his first start in five months and Lyracist moved forward last time out to win an optional claimer with a 98 Beyer.

Other contenders include stakes winners First Amendment and Polish Pride, two horses whose combined record at Laurel is 11 for 21, plus In the Clear, a winner of three consecutive optional claiming races over the track.

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