BAI AND BAI RETURNS IN E.B. JOHNSTON
Pomona, Calif. (Sept. 6) - Bai and Bai, winner of the prestigious $100,000 Las Madrinas Handicap in 2007 at Fairplex Park, begins the second half of her 2008 season in Sunday's $65,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes, a 1 1/16 mile jaunt for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up.
Sidelined since winning the Foster City Handicap at Bay Meadows in early March, the multiple stakes winning mare is the most accomplished runner in the six horse field, compiling a race record of 23-9-7-3 while earning $631,868.
Trained by Craig Dollase and ridden by Aaron Gryder, Bai and Bai has trained forwardly for her comeback, working 1:12 4/5 and 1:11 2/5 at Del Mar in recent weeks.
With the pace scenario up for grabs in the E.B. Johnston, trainer Clifford Sise is hoping his Lochinvar's Gold will be comfortably positioned early. The 5-year-old daughter of Seeking The Gold is trying to negotiate a distance of ground for the first time in her 10 race career.
Lochinvar's Gold exits a trouble filled trip in a five furlong turf sprint at Del Mar.
"She got away a little slow, then checked on the far turn and raced really wide," said Sise. "Toss that race out. She's got natural early speed and we'll see if she can handle routing."
Also set to start in the E.B. Johnston are Purrfectly Fitting, Petite Cherie, Dona Amelia and Chocolate Lava.
BAZE, MARTINEZ OFF ALL MOUNTS
Jockeys Tyler Baze and Michael Martinez, involved in a freak accident in Friday's fourth race when both riders were thrown from their mounts, will not ride today and have taken off all of their mounts on Sunday.
"I talked with Ron Ebanks (Baze's agent) this morning and Tyler's very body sore," said Fairplex Park steward Randy Winick. "It will be day-to-day with him."
Martinez, an apprentice riding the Pomona oval for the first time, may be out a bit longer.
"He's quite sore this morning," said his agent, Alex Procel Crowley. "Nothing was broken, but he was complaining of pain in his upper and lower back, and the doctor gave him some pills to ease the pain. He'll be off about week and must be cleared by the doctor before he can resume riding."
TOPPER SHOPPER QUICKEST IN FOOTHILL?
Topper Shopper, third in the $148,000 Barretts Juvenile at Fairplex last season, will be the one to catch in Sunday's supporting feature, the $65,000 Foothill Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs, which drew a field of six.
The gelded son of Old Topper, who is trained by Bill Spawr and will be ridden by Martin Pedroza, drew the rail and likely will have to fend off Winsome Charm, conditioned by Jeff Mullins and handled by Tyler Baze.
Winsome Charm most recently pressed the early pace in the Grade I $300,000 Big Crosby Handicap at Del Mar before fading to ninth.
The one-two finishers in the Bing Crosby 'Cap---Street Boss and In Summation---have Breeder's Cup Sprint aspirations.
Also taking a shot at the brass ring are Fire Break, Ford Island, Slokkie and In The Forecast.
FAIRPLEX REMAINS "PEDROZA PARK"
Jockey Martin Pedroza had a historic day at Fairplex on opening day Friday when he not only won his 3,000th career race, but also visited the winner's circle a record seven times.
The seven bagger ties the California record, held jointly by Laffit Pincay and Victor Espinoza, for most winners on a single program. It also eclipsed the Pomona record of six victories on a single card, set by David Flores on Sept. 20, 1992.
Pedroza, 43, has earned nearly $79 million in purses throughout his 25-year career. His personal best day before Friday came on Oct. 31, 1992, Breeders' Cup Day, when he rode six consecutive winners at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.
His most prolific season at Fairplex was in 2004 when the Panama City, Panama, native registered a record 51 winners in 17 days for a 3-a-day average. His purse earnings for that meet topped $1 million.
The seven winners were: Airplane Attendant ($7.60), Ghosttrapper ($3.80), Kula Girl ($3), Mandate Habit ($7.20), One Track Mind ($3.60), Bad Boy ($7.20) and Trevor's Clever ($6.40), the winner of the featured $65,000 Jim Kostoff Stakes for 3-year-olds.
FAIRWELLS: KALOOKAN DANCER, winner of the $65,000 Pio Pico Stakes in 2007, was on the Fairplex track Saturday morning. She worked a leisurely five furlongs in 1:03 4/5…MARTIN PEDROZA'S purse earnings on opening day were $119,310…Lost in all the Pedroza hoopla was the fact that apprentice PEDRO ARAMBULA, who is riding the five-eighths mile track for the first time, won two races, scoring with Warren's Wild One ($13.40) and Clarence Beeks ($10.20)….Every one of the 13 winners on opening day was saddled by a different trainer…Seven betting favorites reported home first on Friday for a 53.85 percent win quotient…No one selected all the winners in the $1 win pick nine on Friday, so there is a $2,742 carryover for Saturday's 13-race card…