Upperclassman broke from post 6 and went straight to the lead in the four-furlong claiming dash for 3-year-olds and up. The 7-year-old Midshipman gelding held on for a neck victory to complete the half-mile on the fast track in :46.60.
Martinez, who is married to trainer Kelli Martinez, has been riding in the United States since 1987, according to Equibase statistics. He also has ridden eight winners in Quarter Horse or mixed breed races.
From 17,953 starts, his mounts have collected more than $11.7 million in earnings through Saturday. He leads the current Fonner meet, which began Feb. 19 and runs through May 1, by both wins and earnings in the jockey category. He topped the meet a year ago with 70 wins.
Some of his top mounts include the Nebraska-bred Buzz Bar, who Martinez piloted to four black-type victories, and First Class Brass , a multiple stakes winner trained by Kelli Martinez. He also rode Cash Cruise to black-type victory in the Fonner Park Special Stakes.
Martinez has his best year to date in 2020 when he rode 93 winners—ranking 80th across North America by wins—and his mounts earned $737,265 while he won at a 20% rate. Through Saturday, he has maintained that same win percentage for 2021 and so far has finished in the money 55% of the time this year.