08/10/2008 11:00PM

Martin has two shots on card to reach 1,000


Trainer John Martin was caught by surprise Sunday when he won two races at the Bay Meadows Fair in San Mateo, Calif., and found out he was just one away from career win No. 1,000.

Martin won the third race with Avada Kedava ($10) and the fifth with Shes a Lucky Wager ($5.40).

If you counted his victories with Appaloosas and Quarter Horses, Martin passed 1,000 wins long ago.

He will have two chances to reach the milestone Wednesday at the Bay Meadows Fair, first with Storming Slew in the third race, a one-mile event for $3,200 claimers, and probably a better shot with Buck Tuddy Buck in the seventh race, a $16,000 claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs. Buck Tuddy Buck, claimed from a win two back by Martin, won his debut for Martin in a $12,500 claimer and looks able to handle the step up the claiming ladder.

While Martin, 49, will enjoy the milestone, he said, "I plan on winning a lot more if I can weather the storm of this business. They're making it tougher and tougher. Hopefully, I'll make 2,000, but that's 100 wins 10 years in a row."

Martin wins at a high percentage because he works at it.

"I try hard to win," he said. "It's a grind, but I've learned how to play the game. You gotta read the Form, the condition book, study PP's, watch races to know who you'll be running against."

Kyle Kaenel rode both of Martin's winners Sunday.

Kaenel had a big day with four wins, also including Go for Cover at $4.40 and Fan Me at $117.20. The four victories gave him seven for the first week of the meet, two in front of Omar Figueroa and three up on Frank Alvarado.

Slow first week for entries

Entries picked up over the weekend, but the first week of the Bay Meadows Fair was a tough one for the racing secretary, Tom Doutrich.

Only 40 horses ran Friday. The first three races included two win-only wagering races with three entrants and one with four entrants and no show wagering. There was another four-horse no-show-wagering race later on the card.

Wednesday's eight Thoroughbred races drew 51 entrants, Thursday's eight Thoroughbred races drew 49, Saturday's eight attracted 56, and Sunday's nine drew 67. There was one four-horse no-show-wagering race on both Thursday and Saturday.

The planned three-track pick three with races at Bay Meadows, the State Fair, and Stockton was canceled for lack of interest.

Powerful coupling

Wednesday's Bay Meadows Fair allowance feature will see the return of the undefeated 3-year-old filly High Resolve, who will be coupled with the multiple stakes winner Victorina. The only questions seem to be which of the two will win and whether the entry will go off at 1-5 or 1-10.

High Resolve, 3, will meet older females for the first time as she makes her first start in six months. She has held the lead at every call of every race she has run. She is 5 for 5 with three straight stakes wins, including the Princess at Bay Meadows in her last start on Feb. 9.

Victorina won her 2008 debut in the Washington Legislators at Emerald Downs on June 8 but finished fourth in her defense of the Vacaville Handicap at Solano. A 5-year-old mare, she suffered a minor injury when she stumbled badly leaving the gate but seems fine now, according to trainer Greg Gilchrist.

"I was glad to see this race come up and give them a place to run," Gilchrist said. "I'm not looking too far ahead with either one, but this is a good spot for both."

Baze to ride in stakes before ban

Russell Baze will ride at the Bay Meadows Fair on Thursday and Friday before heading to Emerald Downs, where he will ride Sunday in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile.

Baze finished second aboard a pair of longshots from five mounts at Ascot's Shergar Cup international jockey competition Saturday. He also was handed a four-day suspension for "overuse of the whip," which he will serve the week of Aug. 25.

The suspension will not prevent him from riding undefeated Indyanne in the Grade 3, $100,000 Victory Ride at Saratoga on Aug. 23. He will work Indyanne for Gilchrist on Thursday at Golden Gate Fields before she ships to Saratoga on Saturday.

"It wasn't really planned," Gilchrist said. "It just worked out."

No shortage of mules

There have been big fields of mules and Arabians at the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale, but filling races has been bit of a struggle for the Thoroughbreds. The fair's racing secretary, Dede Robinson, said that several new trainers are bringing Thoroughbreds to Ferndale this week, which could help increase the entries.

Robinson said that she expected to fill a race for legendary racing mule Black Ruby on Saturday.

Bar JF Red Ticket, a full sister of the current champion mule Bar JF Hot Ticket, won the 220-yard Ferndale Mule Dash for 3-year-olds by three lengths Sunday to run her record to 5 for 5. Bar JF Red Ticket is trained by Ruby Thomas, wife of Hot Ticket's trainer, Ray Thomas.