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Looking Back to "The Pacing Machine" (02/21/13)
Posted Thursday February 21, 2013
“The Pacing Machine”
This photo of the great Cam Fella was taken in 1997 outside the paddock of Sportsman’s Park when the 18-year-old pacer was making his farewell tour through the country enroute to his retirement home at The Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
It was in 1983, some 14 years earlier at the Cicero, IL track that Cam Fella stunned a large Saturday night crowd on August 29 when he won the $74,300 American National Aged Pace as a 4-year-old in a track-record time of 1:54.2, besting by a tick the 11-year-old record of the great Albatross.
One week later Cam Fella won his 15th victory in a row in the $60,000 final of the U.S. Pacing Championship at Sportsman’s and lowered his track record to 1:54 flat.
The son of Most Happy Fella would go on to win 28 straight races that year and 30 of 36 starts while taking on the very best older horses in the U.S. and Canada.
Nicknamed “The Pacing Machine,” Cam Fella was named the Horse of the Year in both 1982 and 1983. He was retired to stud duty after the 1983 campaign with $2,041,367 in purse earnings and a record of 61 wins, 9 seconds and 5 thirds in 80 career starts.
Cam Fella went on to sire 14 millionaires including such pacing stars as Armbro Positive, Cambest, Cam’s Card Shark, Camtastic, Ellamony, Eternal Camnation, Goalie Jeff, Pacific Fella, Precious Bunny, Presidential Ball, Village Connection and Village Jiffy.
In the spring of 1997, prior to his farewell tour, Cam Fella had to be gelded because of testicular cancer. On May 9, 2001 at the age of 22, the legendary horse lost his battle with cancer and passed away.
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