Doug O'Neill set a single-season record for victories by a trainer at Santa Anita on Sunday when 1-5 favorite Keystone Malibu won the day's first race, giving O'Neill 48 wins for the meet. Bob Baffert and Gary Jones had shared the record with 47 wins.
O'Neill got win No. 48 with his 213th starter this winter. When Baffert won 47 races during the 1997-98 season, he sent out 174 runners. Jones had 191 runners when he won 47 races during the 1974-75 season.
There was a sparse winner's circle for the record-setting win, because O'Neill and his family were on a long-planned vacation in Las Vegas on Sunday. Keystone Malibu was saddled by trainer Richard Rosales.
"Something like this is really unbelievable," O'Neill said. "It's something I've always dreamed of doing. I hope to God it lasts, because I'm having the time of my life."
O'Neill, 37, will have plenty of opportunities to further his record. He runs more horses than anyone on this circuit, and there are still three weeks left in Santa Anita's meeting. O'Neill is 20 winners ahead of second-place Jeff Mullins in the trainer standings.