The way Russell Baze dominates Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows is how jockey Rafael Bejarano is dominating the standings at Turfway Park.
Through Monday, Bejarano had 48 winners at the Kentucky track, 34 more than his nearest rivals, Mark Johnston and Jason Lumpkins. The Peruvian-born rider is winning at a 34% rate.
Bejarano is named to ride today in all nine races, beginning with the maiden Libertyville in the first and concluding with the maiden claimer No Fishing in the ninth.
Another highly successful jockey is Pablo Fragoso, who was third in the Eclipse voting as the top apprentice of 2003. Fragoso leads the Aqueduct standings with 35 wins, seven more than Richard Migliore and nine ahead of Mike Luzzi and Shaun Bridgmohan.
Fragoso is scheduled to ride seven races today if the track is open. Racing was canceled at Aqueduct Wednesday because of heavy snow, and Wednesday's card is supposed to be offered today.
Race of the day: King Of Happiness, who won a Group III race in England in 2002, will make his first start in this country for trainer Neil Drysdale in today's seventh at Santa Anita. The race is part of a pick six with a carry-over of $85,073. Eric Saint-Martin will ride the 5-year-old son of Spinning World in a field that also includes Middleweight, Bat Mobile, Brave Call and Pinkhair.
One for the road: Extreme Fighter will make his first start for hot trainer Allen Iwinski in today's sixth at Gulfstream Park and a big move forward is expected from the 4-year-old Tactical Advantage colt. Iwinski, who won at a 25% clip in 2003, is off to an even better start this year and John Velazquez will ride in the $32,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles.
Exotically speaking: A pick three using Sunday Whisper in the second, Checkthisgroove, Badinage and The Borg Queen in the third and Satan's Song, O'Nectar and Sailor's Dream in the fourth.
Winners: Previous day/meet total: 5/79. Money: Previous day/meet total: $47/$450. Total money bet: $432.