06/25/2014 9:07PM

Pocono: Campbell gets lucky with Sometimes Said

Derick Giwner
John Campbell will also drive Nuncio in the Earl Beal, Jr. Memorial on Saturday.

There’s an old expression, “The Luck of the Draw.” For the connections of Sometimes Said, a participant in Saturday’s $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, they may have to change it to “The Luck of the Re-Draw.”

“It worked out much better the second time,” said John Campbell, who drives the sophomore son of Well Said. “When I first saw the nine (the original draw), I couldn’t believe it. He drew the nine last year for the Breeders Crown here and drew the 10 for the North America Cup.”

A re-draw was needed for the Hempt because The Lunch Pail was mistakenly drawn into the final instead of Allstar Partner. While Sometimes Said came out ahead, Limelight Beach wound up getting the opposite switch and moving from post four to nine.

A winner just twice in 16 lifetime starts, Sometimes Said was a creditable third in one of three eliminations for the Hempt last Saturday. It was a similar effort two starts back where Sometimes Said took the lead in the stretch only to be overtaken late. Last week it was All Bets Off scoring.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch the Sun Stakes Saturday card from Pocono Downs on DRF!]

“If think it was the trips in both of those races. I had to use him hard to get the lead in the North America Cup eliminations. I used him hard again last week and he just got a little tired late,” said Campbell, who drives the colt for his training brother Jim.

“First over is really not his game,” said Campbell of Sometimes Said, who sat a pocket trip in the Breeders Crown at Pocono last fall and finished a solid second.

With a break in post position, Campbell will keep his options open and hope for a better trip. Sometimes Said finished last in the $1 million North America Cup, but the driver said the line is not as bad as it looks. “I choked him in that race,” Campbell said.

The Hempt is race 10 on the 16-race Pocono Saturday program.

The Hall of Fame driver also has an excellent chance for success on the Sun Stakes card behind Nuncio. The ultra-consistent son of Andover Hall has been no worse than second in 14 lifetime starts, impressive for any trotter. This year he’s undefeated going into Saturday’s $500,000 Earl Beal Jr. Memorial.

“Jimmy’s (trainer Takter) done a good job with him this year getting him to relax. In last year’s Breeders Crown I couldn’t hold him,” said Campbell of Nuncio. “This year we’ve raced him from behind and he’s relaxed. I even left a little with him last week and he came right back to me.”

Nuncio landed post two for the Beal but won’t be the favorite as Takter has a standout in the once-beaten Father Patrick. He landed post eight for driver Yannick Gingras. Nuncio is the only horse to defeat Father Patrick in his brilliant 15-race career, but Campbell seemed to suggest that Nuncio will need some form of racing luck even with Father Patrick landing post eight in the field of nine.

“When they go for $500,000 a lot can happen,” said Campbell.

The Beal is listed as race 12 on the star-studded card. First post time is 6:30 p.m. at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Saturday.