Updated on 09/17/2011 10:09AM

Norman sets Oaklawn record


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Cole Norman broke the record for trainer wins in a season at Oaklawn Park on Saturday when he won the first race with 6-5 favorite Meckenized. It was the 51st win at the meet for Norman, who surpassed the 50 races won in 1974 by David Vance.

Vance won five races the last day of the 1974 meet to hit 50. With another 15 days left at the current meet, Norman could establish a record that might never be threatened. He is winning races at a near 30 percent rate this meet, and had a 37-win advantage in the standings over second-leading trainer Donnie Von Hemel after he set the record Saturday.

"I am sure glad it is all over," Norman said of his run for the record. "When this colt made the lead, cold chills ran down my spine. This number 51 is for my dad."

Norman began training in 1995 following the death of his father, longtime trainer Gene Norman. He started that year with five horses, and now has a stable of 140, with 40 based at Oaklawn.

Last year, Norman was the third winningest trainer in North America.

* Jockey Glen Murphy complained of hip pain and was taken to St. Joseph Regional Health Care Center for X-rays following the first race, when he was unseated from his mount, first-time starter Captain Halo, who took a left turn coming out of the starting gate from post 1.