Updated on 09/15/2011 1:35PM

Trainer Camac and wife slain


Bob Camac, one of the leading trainers in the history of Philadelphia Park, and his wife, Maryann, were shot to death Thursday morning at their South Jersey farm, and Camac's stepson has been arrested in connection with the crime, the Salem County prosecutor's office announced Friday.

Wade M. Russell, the 36-year-old son of Maryann Camac and the stepson of Bob Camac, was charged with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and one count of tampering with physical evidence.

Russell, of Carney's Point, N.J., was arrested Thursday night and initially charged with theft by deception, forgery, and "uttering a forged instrument," a charge often related to improperly cashing checks. These charges could supply the motive for the murder. According to racing sources, Camac had learned that Russell was attempting to cash checks made out to Camac from owners and was prepared to confront Russell about it.

Salem County Prosecutor John Bergh declined to comment on the motive.

Russell is being held in the Salem County Correctional Facility in lieu of $1.8 million cash bail.

The bodies of 61-year-old Bob and 53-year-old Maryann Camac were discovered Thursday morning on the back porch of their farm in Oldmans Township, N.J., by New Jersey State Police. Camac Thoroughbred Horse Farm is located about 20 miles southeast of Philadelphia.

According to Daily Racing Form statistics, Camac won 1,830 races from 9,846 starters. He also had 1,586 seconds and 1,443 thirds. His horses earned $28,656,623.

The best horse Camac trained was *. He also trained stakes winners Fire Plug, Cagey Exuberance, and American Champ.

Camac was among the top five winningest trainers at Philadelphia Park, and was the leading trainer at Philadelphia's 1988 fall meet. In recent years, Camac also maintained a string at Delaware Park.

"A stand-up guy, very classy, and a good horseman," Scott Lake, the current leading trainer at Philadelphia Park, said of Camac. "I was talking to him the other day and he said 'You never claimed off me.' When my owners asked me to claim one off him, I said no reason to, he evaluates a horse better than anyone. If he lays one in it's because it ain't got many [races] left in them."

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