FAIRPLEX STORY: LARGE FIELD EXPECTED FOR RALPH M. HINDS INVITATIONAL AT FAIRPLEX PARK
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ed Golden
As many as 21 horses could be asked to participate in Fairplex Park's marquee
event, the 24th edition of the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational
Handicap on closing day next Sunday (Sept. 29).
Racing secretary Richard Wheeler is expected to announce the offical list of
horses and weights on Tuesday. Top-weighted horses will be given preference.
The race, to be decided at about 1 1/8 miles, is named for the Fair
Association's late president and chief executive officer.
Sigfreto, unbeaten in two starts at the Los Angeles County Fair track, is
among the leading candidates. The Doug Peterson-trainee won the Phil D.
Shepherd Stakes on Sept. 14 and the Pomona Derby last year. Matt Garcia
rides. Other probables include Dig for It (trainer Bruce Headley, jockey Omar
Berrio); Out of Mind (trainer Richard Mandella); Truly A Judge (David
Bernstein); Reba's Gold (Dan Hendricks and David Flores); Moving's Gold (Juan
Garcia); J.T.'s Song (Mike Mitchell); Kachamandi (Barry Abrams); Hook Call
(A.C. Avila); Macaneo (Roger Stein); Mysterious Cat (Ted West); Timber Baron
(Mike Machowsky); and Nate's Colony (Jack Carava and Martin Pedroza).
Others likely to be invited: Hot Market, Sign of Fire, Bonus Payday, Most
Likely, Deploy Venture, Dixie Thrill, San Nicholas and Dixie Law.
BAZE, PEDROZA TIED FOR RIDING HONORS WITH SEVEN DAYS TO GO
It is said that opposites attract, which could explain why the race for
Fairplex Park riding honors this season between Tyler Baze and Martin Pedroza
is generating considerable excitement.
On Saturday Baze won five races to take a 16-13 lead in the jockeys' race.
Pedroza came back on Sunday to win three, so with seven days remaining in the
17-day meet, the 19-year-old Baze and the 37-year-old Pedroza are tied with
16 victories each.
The fire of competition burns in both jockeys, perhaps a tad more in Pedroza.
Baze prefers to focus on the immediate picture.
"It felt good to win five (on Saturday)," said Seattle native Baze. "It's
been a long time since I won five in one day in Phoenix (Turf Paradise),
about a year ago. Five is the most races I've ever won in one day."
And winning races in bunches breeds confidence.
"That definitely helps you keep going," Baze said. "But I don't care if I'm
leading rider or not. I'm out here doing my job. If I get it, I get it, but
if I think about it like I did last year, it messed me up. I'm just going out
there and doing my job."
Pedroza makes no bones about wanting to win the title.
"Of course, a race like this motivates me more," said Pedroza, a native of
Panama City, Panama. "I like it when it's like that. It's better for racing,
better for the fans, better for everybody. I have time to catch him. There's
still a week to go."
Pedroza, Pomona's career leader with 338 victories, says the competition
provides the incentive for him to get more run from his horses. "I feel
better about it," he says. "I run (well) under pressure."
FAIRWELLS: Pedroza is expected to ride Slab Granite for trainer Terry Knight
in Thursday's Gateway to Glory Stakes, while Baze has given the call to
Caesar Dominguez on Pine for Java in the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds . .
. Probables for Friday's $100,000 Las Madrinas Handicap: De Goddaughter, no
rider; Hazen, Iggy Puglisi; Mimi's Cafe, no rider; Revillew Slew, no rider;
Spunky Gal, no rider; and Lookn Mighty Fine. Pedroza could ride the latter,
or Warren's Whist