Jockey Kent Desormeaux won with only one of his 11 mounts Sunday at Laurel Race Course, leaving him one shy of the record for most victories in a year.
Desormeaux, 19, finished second twice and third twice as he continued his chase for the record of 546 victories set by Chris McCarron in 1974.
"There's a lot of pressure, but there's none for me," Desormeaux said. "It's all these people out here to see me, cheering me on, trying to see me get the record. The pressure was from them."
Desormeaux, who rode five favorites, got his only victory Sunday in the fourth race, a $16,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds and up, aboard Horse Talk. The bay gelding drew off in the stretch to win easily over seven others.
He had seven chances to equal the record from that point, but could manage only a pair of seconds. Neither was close to a victory.
"I had a lot of seconds, but there was nothing I could do," he said. "They could have run the races 10 different ways and I would have ended up in the same spot."
Desormeaux, who will take a day off and not ride today, has been named on five horses on a 10-race card Tuesday at Laurel. Only one is expected to be a morning-line favorite.
Desormeaux had been named to ride seven horses at the Meadowlands tonight but has canceled those mounts so he can break the record in Maryland.
In the feature, the $40,000 Cameo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, heavily favored Wedding Band, ridden by Edgar Prado, won by 1 1/2 lengths over five rivals.