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Frank Ferrari

Frank Ferrari

January 1, 2019
Frank Ferrari

 The horse that changed my life

A Thoroughbred mare with a lot of horsepower played a significant role in the life of Ajax Downs track announcer Frank Ferrari.

Barlee Mist, one of Canada’s top sprinting fillies in the mid 1990s, was so dominant on the local scene that Ferrari said his family felt confident of a win most times the daughter of Charlie Barley went to the post.

“She was a money maker,” said Ferrari, whose uncle, John Campitelli, bred and raced Barlee Mist. “It was really enjoyable as all the family would go and watch her race.”

John Campitelli, owner of a trucking firm in Toronto, got Barlee Mist when he bred his graded stakes winning mare Moon Mist to the popular Ontario sire Charlie Barley. Foaled in 1995, Barlee Mist was even better on the track than her dam.

Trained by Wray Lawrence, Barlee Mist won seven stakes races, placed in seven others and earned over $670,000.
Ferrari, who was raised by his father and Campitelli’s wife Lena when his mother died when Ferrari was just two, grew up around racetracks in Ontario. “When you are five-years-old, they can’t leave you by yourself so I was around tracks all the time.”

The Campitellis were initially involved in Standardbred racing before moving into Thoroughbreds in the 1980s. Campitelli also dabbled in Quarter Horse racing.  When the family heard about a job opening for a track announcer at Picov Downs at the old ‘J’ track, Ferrari was a perfect fit.

“I pretended to be a commentator when I played or watched sports as a child,” said Ferrari, who lives on the Campitelli farm in Brooklin, ON. He has been the Ajax/Picov Downs track announcer for 35 years.

Barlee Mist was almost as quick a Quarter horse too, remembers Ferrari. “She was never headed at the quarter-pole,” said Ferrari. “She was our prized horse.”

(Past Performaces courtesy Daily Racing Form)


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