01/09/2008 1:00AM

Memorial service set for Baird


Dale Baird may be gone, but he's not forgotten.

Friends and colleagues of Thoroughbred racing's all-time leading trainer, who died when he was thrown from his truck in an accident along Interstate 70 near Greenfield, Ind., on Dec. 23, will gather at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort on Monday.

In what is billed as a "Celebration of Life," those who knew Baird during his more than 40-year career as an owner and trainer at Mountaineer will share their memories from 1 to 3 p.m. in Salon D of the facility's Convention and Conference Center.

Mark Patterson, Mountaineer's assistant racing secretary and in-house television co-host, who knew Baird well, has been asked by the family to make opening remarks. Patterson will introduce Baird's two sons, Bart and Perry, and daughter Janet Wood, then invite people to mingle with the family.

In addition to winning 9,445 races as a trainer, Baird, 72, led the nation's trainers in victories 15 times between 1971 and 1999; led all owners in wins 17 times; and in 1973 became the first trainer to win more than 300 races in a year, a feat he accomplished eight times.