Dogwood Stable's Palace Malice will be running in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic, but one very important member of the team won't be there.
W. Cothran Campbell, Dogwood Stable president, one of the most recognizable faces in Thoroughbred racing and Aiken, will be watching the race at home on NBC as he's been diagnosed with vertigo. Campbell was supposed to leave for California today. His wife, Anne, and daughter, Lila, will be attending the 1 ¼-mile, $5 million race at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, Calif.
“I don't want to insult the horse or the Breeders' Cup by not showing up,” said Campbell. “The reason I'm not showing up is because I have vertigo, which makes me feel uncomfortable, and I don't want to ride five hours on an airplane, which is almost sure to make me super uncomfortable. I have no choice in the matter but to stay in Aiken. If I'm going to be uncomfortable, I'd rather be uncomfortable in South Carolina than in California.”
Campbell has suffered with vertigo for a number of years, and had a problem with the balance disorder at the 1996 Breeders' Cup, which was held at Woodbine, but he was already in Toronto when the incident occurred. Dogwood Stable's Storm Song won the 1996 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Campbell will watch the Breeders' Cup with his other daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in Aiken.
Palace Malice arrived in California on Tuesday, an hour and a-half later than expected because of the weather, and galloped at Santa Anita on Wednesday morning. He will be shod with new shoes tomorrow afternoon, said Campbell.
Ben Baugh has been covering the equine industry and equestrian sport for the Aiken Standard since 2004. Among the awards Baugh has won include the 2003 Raleigh Burroughs Award as the turf writer making the most impact on the Florida Thoroughbred Industry.