Jockey Campbell improving daily with rehabilitation program

August 14, 2005|By LARRY YANOS

Charles Town-based apprentice jockey Shannon Campbell, paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a spill at Charles Town Races & Slots in July, is showing improvement at the National Rehab Hospital in Washington.

"She's better, she keeps very busy with the rehab, morning to night," Shannon's husband, Lance, said. "When she first got here, she had a shoulder problem, a torn rotary cuff muscle, and that limited her and made the rehab process that more difficult. The shoulder is much better now and her outlook on things has improved."

Campbell was thrown when her mount, Makin Violets, clipped heels going into the turn of a 4 1/2-furlong, $5,000 maiden claiming race July 9.


Shannon broke a T-5 level vertebra.

"The research program for spinal cord is an electro stimulant shock therapy," Campbell's husband said.

Campbell won 75 races in her career, which began in August 2003.

In July, the Virginia Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association held a benefit golf tournament at the Brickshire Golf Course in Providence Forge, Va. On Saturday, Charles Town held Shannon Campbell Day to raise money for the jockey.

The Charles Town Division/Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and jockey's guild assisted in the endeavor.

A donation booth, staffed by both jockeys and friends, was set up on the track apron throughout the day and one of the races on the program was named in her honor.

The Charles Town Division HBPA and management are also planning additional fundraising activities and special events are being planned at other racetracks throughout the country.

Cards can be mailed to Shannon at National Rehab Hospital, 102 Irving Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20002.

W.Va. Derby set

Dover Dere, a 3-year-old colt, has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite for today's 36th running of the Grade III, $750,000 West Virginia Derby.

It will be contested at 1 1/8 miles at the Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort.

According to West Virginia Derby spokesman Bill Mooney, every event on the nine-race card will be a stakes race and purses will total $1.55 million - a single-day record for any West Virginia track.

Second in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park in his most recent effort on July 9, Dover Dere heads a full field of 12 that have drawn in for West Virginia's richest, most prominent and historic race.

California-based jockey Patrick Valenzuela will ride Dover Dere.

Magna Graduate, trained by Todd Pletcher, North America's leading thoroughbred conditioner (in terms of earnings), has been installed as the co-second choice at 5-1.

He will be ridden by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens.

Also at 5-1 is Southern Africa, who won the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby in early May. Trained by Michael Puhich, Southern Africa will have Jon Court in the irons.

The complete lineup, listing horse and jockey: Southern Africa, Jon Court; Ablo, Gerry Olguin; Dover Dere, Patrick Valenzuela; Bernie Blue, Ricardo Feliciano; Golden Man, Charles Lopez; Devilment, Carlos H. Marquez Jr.; Real Dandy, Mark Guidry; Magna Graduate, Gary Stevens; Pinpoint, Larry Melancon; Shamoan, Jose Valdivia, Jr.; Anthony J, Jose A. Velez and Diamond Isle, Edgar Prado.

Approximate post time is 5:39 p.m. and the race will be televised live on ESPN.

Day will be missed

The thoroughbred horse racing industry lost one of the good guys with the retirement of jockey Pat Day.

The 51-year-old Hall of Famer tried bouncing back from hip surgery this spring, but he lost some desire and felt it was time to quit riding.

Day was a legend and always found time away from the racetrack to answer questions from the media or talk and sign autographs for his many fans.

He judged pace as well as anyone in the history of the sport and was at his best in distance races.

"You don't win over 8,000 races by coming off the pace each time," a veteran race announcer said. "Pat could get a horse out of the gate and won more than his share of sprint races. He was at his best, though, in the distance races. He was very tough."

Over the years, the veteran rider earned nicknames such as "Patient Pat" and Pat "Wait All" Day because of his penchant to rate a horse off the pace, find an opening turning for home, and draw off approaching the finish line.

Day leaves the sport just a few months after returning from hip surgery. Torn cartilage forced him to miss the Kentucky Derby and end a record 21-year streak of Derby rides.

He was inducted into racing's Hall of Fame in 1991 and ends his career fourth in victories with 8,804 wins and with more earnings than any other rider at $297,941,912.

Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. he can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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