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Handle Increases for Fair Meeting

September 29, 2003|Bill Christine

In a meet that Fairplex Park officials are saying was their best ever, Omar Barrio rode Chinkapin to victory Sunday in the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Handicap as the Los Angeles County Fair ended its 17-day, mixed-breed stand in Pomona.

Counting off-track sources, Fairplex averaged $6.25 million a day in daily betting, an increase of more than 10% over last year. On Saturday, a record $10.2 million was bet on the Fairplex card.

For the first time, the closing day overlapped with the opening day of the Oak Tree Racing Assn.'s opener at Santa Anita. Oak Tree needed to open early to facilitate four prep races for the Breeders' Cup, scheduled for Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Chinkapin, a 7-year-old gelding, has won two in a row since trainer Mike Mitchell claimed him for $50,000 at Del Mar in July.

Jockey Martin Pedroza, winning 31 races, led the Fairplex standings for the fifth consecutive time. The training title was shared by Doug O'Neill, Wesley Ward and Ray Thomas, who saddled 10 winners

-- Bill Christine

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