I was 13 at the time of the Pleasant Colony’s Derby & Preakness wins. It was well before the internet era and I live in a non-racing state, so at the time I had no idea what a turd John Campo was. At least he did seem to love his horses. Although - cutting out their frogs??? Did the author misunderstand abscess treatments or did Campo actually do so?
It’s SI, so yes, they added some drama (like needlessly slanging Thomas Mellon Evans) just in case the bare bones of the story weren’t enough. Any mention of Mark Gerard is usually a sign that the story won’t be a happy one.