06/30/2009 11:00PM

Race for leading rider going down to the wire


Jockeys Chris Fackler and Jesus Ponce heated up the race for leading rider with strong performances last weekend, leading up to what should be a battle to the end with two weekends remaining in the Lincoln season.

Ponce, who shared the riding title with Fackler at Fonner Park this year, has rallied from well back in the standings earlier in the meet. Last Thursday, he rode four winners on the eight-race card, then followed up with riding triples on both Friday and Saturday to draw even with Fackler at 41 wins.

Fackler had his own four-win day last Sunday, winning the third through sixth races for different trainers. The surge moved him to a 45-41 edge over Ponce. Luis Ranilla is in third with 36 wins.

Armando Martinez, fourth in the standings with 24 wins, has ridden at least winner a day since June 6. He had ridden winners on 14 consecutive racing days through last Sunday.

Trainer David Anderson has overtaken Marv Johnson and leads the standings, 25-21, after saddling four winners on Thursday, three Saturday, and two Sunday. Johnson sent out three winners on Saturday.

* Post time for Friday's card has been moved up to 2 p.m. to avoid running during the July 3 fireworks show at nearby Oak Park Lake that evening.