The victory by Campaign in Wednesday's Cougar II Handicap was the third of the young meeting and the 70th in the career at Del Mar, Calif., for trainer John Sadler. It tied Sadler with the late Hall of Fame conditioner, Bobby Frankel, for fourth on the track's all-time stakes victories by a trainer.
“He was a great trainer, one of the greatest trainers in California for a long time,” Sadler said of Frankel, who died in 2009. “I didn't realize I'd tied him with those 70 stakes. That's a nice thing to learn.”
Sadler's rise up the list was steady from 2015-17 when he totaled nine wins. It took a major leap with eight stakes wins in 2018 and the three this year figures to be only the start given the abundance of stars in the barn.
Having caught one Hall of Famer, Sadler has two others within sight. Charlie Whittingham is third all-time with 74 stakes wins and Ron McAnally is second with 77. Bob Baffert may be uncatchable with 128 stakes wins and prospects for adding on this and every year.
Baffert and Sadler's totals include stakes from the summer and fall meet, the latter of which began in 2014.
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