FAMILIAR FACES PEDROZA, O'NEILL ON TITLE TRAIL AT FAIRPLEX Martin Pedroza and Doug O'Neill are on the threshold of capturing yet another title.
With one day of racing left after today, Pedroza had clinched his 12th consecutive riding crown at Fairplex. He won four races Saturday and entered Sunday with 39 victories, 27 more than David Flores and Alonso Quinonez, who were tied for second with 12 each. Pedroza is the track's career leader in wins with 645.
The 45-year-old native of Panama also had 17 wins and 17 seconds. He was winning at a 36 percent clip. His mounts have earned $608,354. He had four stakes wins to increase his lead over runner-up Flores to 69-64.
O'Neill, meanwhile, had 12 training wins through Saturday, three more than upstart Jorge Gutierrez. O'Neill won the title last year and this would be the seventh championship at Fairplex for O'Neill in the last nine years. He won in 2009 with 16 victories, in 2007 with 12, 2005 with 23, 2004 with 16, tied for the crown in 2003 with 10, and won outright again in 2002 with nine.
O'Neill ranks fourth all-time with 97 wins, behind Mel Stute (187), Jerry Fanning (148) and Ted West (141).
FAIRWELLS: The $1 win Pick 9 was hit for the second time this meet Saturday. There was one winning ticket worth $6,234.40 . . . Favorites were winning at a 46.36 rate through Saturday, 70 out of 151, while odds-on choices were hitting at a 57.14 clip, 40 out of 70. Favorites have been in the money 80.13 percent of the time (121 of 151), while odds-on favorites were in the money 61 times out of 70, for 87.14 percent . . . Racing concludes tomorrow, Monday on Fan Appreciation Day. Admission, parking and programs are free, and pop corn, hot dogs and soda will be available at discount prices. The 12-race program begins at 1 p.m.