12/23/2007 1:00AM

Hollendorfer becomes 4th trainer to win 5,000

EmailJerry Hollendorfer won the 11th race at Hollywood Park on Saturday with Political High to become the fourth trainer in history to record 5,000 victories.

The Northern California-based Hollendorfer won with his only two starters at Hollywood Saturday, also winning the third race with favored Gold Trim. His lone starter at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday, Alottadar, ran fourth.

The 58-year-old Hollendorfer trails Dale Baird (9,445), Jack Van Berg (6,378) and King T. Leatherbury (6,227) on the all-time victory list for trainers. He has saddled 21,152 starters and they have earned $93,308,383. He has 346 stakes victories. He has won with 23.6 percent of his starters.

“I’m one of the fortunate ones who has had a lot of opportunities,” Hollendorfer said. “And there are a lot of people in the background who have worked very hard to help, and I appreciate their efforts.”

Hollendorfer shared credit for his success with his wife, Janet.

“She’s the catalyst and adhesive that holds things together,” he said. “She’s very good with injuries and spotting injuries before they become severe. She’s one of the best with horses I’ve ever seen. I rely on her advice.”

Hollendorfer watched Political High’s victory from his home in Point Richmond near Golden Gate Fields. He said he was on a treadmill as he watched the race and joked that he began going faster as Political High rallied through the lane. Ridden by Michael Baze, Political High won the 6 1/2-furlong race by 1 1/2 lengths.

The win left Hollendorfer tied for second in the Hollywood Park trainer standings with Mike Mitchell and Patrick Gallagher at 11 wins. John Sadler won the title with 21 victories.

Hollendorfer claimed Political High, a 4-year-old gelding, for $25,000 in his previous start on Nov. 24 for longtime friend George Todaro.

“That’s a good thing for me,” Hollendorfer said about hitting the milestone with a horse owned by Todaro, “and he’ll get a kick out of it, too. We’ve won a lot of victories together and also gone through some hard times.”

Hollendorfer began his training career in 1979, starting fewer than 100 horses over the first five years of his career. His career began to blossom in 1986 when he won 117 races, more than doubling his career total for his first seven years as a trainer.

“With every successful endeavor, there is an amount of luck involved, being in the right place at the right time,” Hollendorfer said. “I’ve had opportunities, but I’ve tried to make the most of them.”