(New Image Media photo: WEG senior manager of racing operations Bill McLinchey (far right) recently congratulated driver Sylvain Filion for reaching 8,000 career wins).
As the nephew of John and Jim Campbell and the grandson of Jack Campbell, Bill McLinchey grew up around talented horses and even more talented horsemen, but the senior manager of racing operations at the Woodbine Entertainment Group said the horse that changed his life was a Kawartha Skipper colt out of My Fair Butler trained by his father, also named Bill.
“My dad had a horse called Sly Walter. He won a couple of Sires Stakes. My grandpa drove him and my dad trained him. So, it was pretty special,” McLinchey said.
McLinchey’s grandfather, the late Jack Campbell, is the son of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Famer Dunc Campbell and the father of multiple Hall of Famer John Campbell, the leading driver in the history of harness racing with earnings of $295 million. Trainer Jim Campbell has over 1,000 training victories and more than $38 million to his credit. John and Jim’s sister, Jo-Ann, is the younger McLinchey’s mother.
Sly Walter won 39 of 169 starts and $114,017 in southwestern Ontario between 1988 and 1997 for the McLinchey family. His two Ontario Sires Stakes victories came in 1989 when he was three and the younger McLinchey was nine.
“It was the best horse that my dad ever had. It was just dad training, grandpa driving and I was kicking along.”
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