Those who thought the broken pelvis that jockey Martin Pedroza suffered in January at Santa Anita, an injury that sidelined him for months, would somehow translate into a slowdown at Fairplex Park this season were badly mistaken.
Pedroza, as usual, is off and running at Fairplex, winning 12 races through the first four days of the 15-day meet to take a 12-5 lead over Alonso Quinonez and Christian Santiago Reyes in a bid to increase his record with an 11th consecutive riding title at the Fair.
Pedroza, who’s also won a record 573 races at Fairplex and twice won a one-day record seven races last year, is taking aim at his single-meet record of 51 victories set in 2004.
Make no mistake, Pedoza is a very capable rider no matter where he’s riding, but he’s King of Fairplex and you leave him out of exotics, pick threes, pick fours and pick sixes at your own peril.
In the trainers’ race, defending champion Mike Mitchell and Clifford Sise have both won with four of their first six starters to lead the charge. Sise won all four of his races in one day, prompting him to good-naturedly remind everyone that he’s a dirt trainer and not an artificial track conditioner. Sise, who’s had an abnormally slow year, is an opponent of the synthetics.