Pimlico riding title up in the air going into spring meeting's final day

The leading rider at the Pimlico Race Course spring meeting will not be decided until the last day, and Sheldon Russell, who sits atop the standings, will not even be at the track at the end of today's card to see whether he keeps the top spot.

After 35 live racing days, Russell has 28 victories, three more than Xavier Perez.


Apprentice Victor Carrasco rode three winners Friday to move into third place with 24 victories.

"I have ridden some good horses this meet and am fortunate to be in the position to be ahead with one day to go," said Russell, who was limited to four mounts Friday because rain forced four races off the turf. "It seems like here at Pimlico no one rider ever stands out. I would be very happy to win the meet, but if it is not meant to be, I would be happy for Xavier Perez or Victor Carrasco, who has come out of nowhere to be in the mix."


Russell, the leading rider at Pimlico two year ago, is named on seven runners today. However, he will be leaving after the eighth race to fly to Richmond, Va., for opening night at Colonial Downs.

Perez has mounts in all 11 races on the closing card.

"It was a little frustrating today because I had a chance to win a few," said Perez, who had three second-place finishes [Friday] afternoon. "It would mean a great deal for me to win the meet, but whatever happens, it has been a great meet. "

Carrasco, 20, who arrived at Pimlico from Puerto Rico at the beginning of the meet, has seven mounts.

Juan Vazquez will win his first training title in Maryland. He has 22 victories, seven more than Scott Lake. First post is at 12:45p.m.