11/19/2008 12:00AM

Manley on brink of first training title


Trainer Steve Manley is poised to win his first career training title as he leads all Hoosier Park trainers by 11 wins going into the final week of the meet.

Manley, 45, comes from a Quarter Horse background.

"My dad trained Quarter Horses, starting with barrel horses, and we had horses ever since I can remember," he said. "I started training Quarter Horses and then moved to Thoroughbreds."

Manley took out his trainer's license in 1987 at Fairmount Park. Manley was born and raised in St Louis and still calls Fairmount Park home.

"I have been lucky to be home my whole life," Manley said. "We take some to Prairie Meadows and here, but Fairmount is our base. We have had horses here at Hoosier Park every year since they opened."

Manley has about 50 horses in training right now and trains for approximately 15 owners. He attributes his success this year to two things.

"I have great owners, you couldn't ask for better," said Manley, "and the other thing is jockey Leandro Goncalves. We seem to really work well together and we have had good success together."

While this is his first training title, Manley has had several second-place finishes.

"I have finished second several times at Fairmount. It is hard to beat Ralph." he said, speaking of Ralph Martinez, who has been one of the national leaders in wins the last several years. Martinez is second to Manley at Hoosier with 25 wins.

* Orlando Mojica is trying for his third riding title at Hoosier. Mojica, 26, leads Goncalves by five wins going into the final week.