Pomona, Calif. (Sept. 24, 2007) -- Although it was a struggle---and sometimes very much in doubt---Martin Pedroza retained his title as "King of the Bullring" after Fairplex Park ended its 69th racing season on Monday.
The Panama City, Panama, native was locked in a bitter duel with jockey Tyler Baze throughout the 16-day meet, but finally won his ninth consecutive riding championship and 10th overall, 35-31.
At the end of last Thursday's card Pedroza probably thought he had put his rival away, opening up a commanding 29-22 lead with only four days remaining in the season.
But Baze countered on Friday with a five winner day to again tighten up the race.
Baze's 31 winner output would have won the Fairplex riding crown every year since 1995, except one, 2004 when Pedroza rode a record 51 winners in just 17 days for a three-a-day average.
Pedroza is the all-time winningest jockey in Pomona with 519 victories notched on his whip. His closest rival is David Flores with 324.
Agapito Delgadillo finished third in the 2007 standings with 13 winners, while Isaias Enriquez ran fourth with 11.
Doug O'Neill saddled the most horses and won the most races at Fairplex, capturing his fifth title in the last six years.
O'Neill started 54 horses and won 12 races, two more than second place Jeff Mullins.
O'Neill won four consecutive training championships in Pomona from 2002-2005.
Last year Jeff Mullins took the crown when he saddled a record 17 winners in 16 days. Mullins also won the Fairplex trainer's race in 1998 and 2001.
Finishing in a tie for third with seven each, were Ted H. West and Ray Thomas, who accumu