10/29/2003 12:00AM

Hoosier Park: Martinez on pace for record


ANDERSON, Ind. - There is little doubt that trainer Ralph Martinez will break the single-season win record of 42 at Hoosier Park before the meet ends Dec. 4. Entering Wednesday's card, Martinez was atop the standings with 39 wins through 43 days of racing. He had three horses entered Wednesday and another on Thursday.

The better question is whether Martinez will break the three-wins-on-a-card record that he currently shares with nine other trainers. Martinez came close again last Friday night, saddling a three-bagger for the third time this season. Stanley Roberts is the only other trainer to have multiple three-win nights here, but he did it in three separate years.

Martinez's sole owner, Louis D. O'Brien, has also gone into the record books this meet because of the three-win nights. Previously, Gary Patrick had been the only owner to have sent out three winners on a card.

Martinez is saddling winner's here at nearly a 40-percent clip. He is sixth nationally with 181 victories from 626 starters, a 29-percent rate. At the Fairmount Park meet that recently ended, Martinez captured the title by an astounding 104-62 margin.

Martinez's three wins last Friday came from five starters. He won with Morisqueta ($5) in the second, Neat and Sweet ($11.40) in the sixth, and I P O Dude ($5.40) in the seventh. His chance at the single-night mark fell 1 1/4 lengths short in the eighth when favored Logan's Girl ran third. A final chance at the mark came in the 1 9/16-mile Milltown Starter Handicap, where Defensive Gem came up two lengths short of catching Go Gavin Go and finished second.

* Leading rider Orlando Mojica also enjoyed a big night last Friday, winning four races on the 11-race card, none of which were for Martinez. Mojica leads the rider standings with 62 wins from 363 mounts entering Wednesday's card. Tommy Pompell and Rodney Prescott share second with 48 wins each, while last year's titlist, Lester Knight, is fourth with 43.

* Hoosier Park will present its third annual Ladies Night on Nov. 8. Twelve female riders are scheduled to participate in six designated races.