In a three-way thriller, Three Diamonds Farm’s Bonus Points made up ground on the far outside and battled favorites Monongahela and Unbridled Juan to the wire to take the $100,000 John B. Campbell Stakes on Saturday, Feb. 16, one of five stakes on Laurel Park’s Winter Carnival program.
Despite being a multiple stakes winner and graded stakes-placed veteran, 5-year-old Bonus Points was sent off at nearly 12-1 in the eight-horse John B. Campbell field. Breaking from the six post he trailed all but one early while 10 lengths off the pace. As the contentious field bunched heading into the far turn, Bonus Points was swung six wide by rider Feargal Lynch. In relentless pursuit of the leaders, the Todd Pletcher trainee wore them down and by a neck over Monongahela, with Unbridled Juan another neck back in third.
“It looked like it was going to be close that last sixteenth and it was one those things where who’s going to want it more at the end,” said Pletcher, who watched the race from Florida. “He kept finding more. It was fun to watch, and I’m proud of him for getting it done.”
Bonus Points earned his fourth win in nine career starts at Laurel Park (he has been second in four others), and recorded his first stakes victory since taking the 2017 Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park.
A son of Majestic Warrior, Bonus Points is out of the Maryland-bred Not For Love mare Baby Love, who in turn is out of Affirmed’s daughter Serenity Jane. Bonus Points’ third dam is Maryland Broodmare of the Year Illeria, the graded stakes-winning dam of nine stakes horses, five stakes winners, including Maryland-bred Horse of the Year and Grade 1-winning millionaire Include, and Maryland-bred champion 2-year-old filly Magic Broad.
Bonus Points was sold by his breeder Country Life Farm as a weanling for $6,500 in the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed Sale, with Three Diamonds Farm making the purchase. He began his career at Saratoga in August 2016, broke his maiden in his third start at Belmont Park that October and was stakes-placed in his final two starts of the year, the Awad at Belmont and Maryland Juvenile Futurity at Laurel. Highlights among his eight stakes wins or placings include his first stakes win in the Parx Derby at Parx Racing in May 2017, and graded stakes-placings in the Grade 3 Jerome and Discovery Stakes, both at Aqueduct.
Read more about the running of the $100,000 John B. Campbell here