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Concealed Identity reveals himself in Campbell

Concealed Identity took the John B. Campbell on a frigid Saturday at Laurel Park (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

Linda Gaudet and Morris Bailey's Concealed Identity rallied into contention off the far turn and prevailed by nearly a length after a rough stretch run in Saturday's $104,250 John B. Campbell at Laurel Park.

Overlooked at 7-1 among five rivals, the five-year-old gelded son of Smarty Jones snapped an 11-race losing streak and posted his fourth career stakes tally, improving his overall mark to 25-7-1-2, $332,990.

The race was not without controversy, however, as three horses ended up in a furious drive to the finish line, with Concealed Identity on the outside, pacesetting even-money favorite Service for Ten on the inside and Norman Asbjornson trying his best to find a way between them.

Service for Ten bore into Norman Asbjornson, forcing him into Concealed Identity. Norman Asbjorson fell back to third as Concealed Identity crossed the finish line first.

After an inquiry and a claim of foul, Concealed Identity was declared the winner, Norman Asbjornson was placed second and Service for Ten was disqualified to third.

"He broke good," said Junior Alvarado, the rider of Norman Asbjornson. "I had a pretty good trip behind the four horse (Service for Ten) the whole way. I shifted to the outside from the rail close to home and started coming with the outside horse. The inside horse then came out and bumped me. The outside horse came in and bumped me and I lost everything right there. I'm not saying I would have won but it sure cost me the race."

"He ran a tough race," said Julian Pimentel, who was aboard Service for Ten. "I think the distance was a bit of an issue but they were gunning for me. We were going comfortable on the backside but then the six (longshot Peasant) moved and then the three (Adirondack King) moved. It seemed like that took a lot out of him and he got tired."

Concealed Identity tracked Service for Ten throughout before ranging up to engage and pass the front runner. He finished fourth in the Campbell Handicap last season, but completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:52 1/5 on the muddy track to take this year's edition with jockey Trevor McCarthy aboard for trainer Gaudet.

It turned out to be the first stakes win for both trainer and jockey.

"I can't believe it," said McCarthy, who scored his eighth win of the week and third on the Saturday card. "This is such a great experience. Concealed Identity is a quality horse and I am grateful to get a mount like this so early in my career.

"This week has been incredible," added the 18-year-old, who is a son of former rider Mike McCarthy and ranks second in the riding standings during the Laurel winter meeting. "I was concerned about coming down but I stuck to my lane to try to ride a clean race to get the win. He broke really nice. I saved as much ground as I could, brought him out down the backside, kept the dirt out of his face. Coming into the turn we were just kind of running with them, good momentum, and really dug in that last eighth of a mile."

"I'm so excited," Gaudet smiled. "This is Trevor's first stakes win, too. That's kind of a Gaudet tradition. We (Linda and her retired trainer husband, Eddie Gaudet) gave Rosie Napravnik a leg up on her first stakes winner as well as Ryan Fogelsonger and Michael Luzzi. Today me and Trevor got the double."

"I knew this horse would run well today," she continued. "He'd been training better than ever since his last race. A mile is just a little too short for this horse but he impressed us enough that we thought we were going to go with this no matter what. Trevor had gotten along with him very well in his last race so we went with him again. It couldn't have turned out better.

"I was worried with the bumping in the stretch but Trevor assured me we were OK when he came back to the winners' circle. This horse is truly a two turn horse and does his best at a mile and an eighth here or at Pimlico. He likes both those courses."

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