Retired trainer John Campo Sr., who conditioned champions Pleasant Colony, Protagonist, and Talking Picture, died Nov. 14 due to declining health over the past several years. He was 67.
Campo, who was born in East Harlem and raised in Ozone Park, N.Y., was a well-known trainer well before dual classic winner Pleasant Colony came along in the early 1980s. In 1973, Campo trained both the year's champion 2-year-old male, Protagonist, and filly, Talking Picture, for Maxwell Gluck.
Pleasant Colony was Campo's best stakes winner of the many the conditioner sent out between 1968 and 1991. Racing for breeder/owner Thomas Mellon Evans, Pleasant Colony won the 1981 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Trying to become the 12th Triple Crown winner, Pleasant Colony finished third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). At stud, he became a leading sire.
Campo's other major winners included Jim French, Jackknife, Road Princess, Cherokee Colony, and Spanish Drums.
Campo is survived by his wife, Peggy, and two sons, John Jr. and Paul J., who goes by "PJ" and is the racing secretary for the New York Racing Association.
Visitation is Wednesday through Thursday, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Cassese Funeral Home, 101-07 101st Avenue, Ozone Park, N.Y. 11416. Mass is at Blessed Virgin Mary, Ozone Park, Friday at 10:15 a.m., and burial is at Pinelawn Memorial Park, Melville, Long Island, N.Y.