Updated on 09/15/2011 1:37PM

Add a notch to Pincay's belt


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - To cheers of "Viva Laffit!" from railbirds, Laffit Pincay Jr. won the 15th riding title of his Hall of Fame career on Monday at Hollywood Park, clinching the feat with a victory in the final race of the spring-summer meeting.

Pincay, 54, who through Monday had 9,183 wins, finished the meet one win in front of Alex Solis, 64-63.

"I was a little surprised that I won," Pincay said in the winner's circle following Monday's ninth and last race. "I had one horse I liked and the rest I didn't know. Me and Solis both deserved it. I got a lucky when David Flores was off and I picked up a few of his horses, and that made a difference."

Pincay and Solis were tied going into Monday with 61 winners. Pincay took the lead Monday when Gibson County won the Answer Do Stakes, they each won a claiming race, and Solis rode his last winner, The Seven Seas, in the Estrapade Stakes.

Both rode the final race, but Pincay led throughout aboard Ride and Shine ($9.20).

This year's title was Pincay's first at Hollywood Park since the fall meeting in 1999, a season in which he surpassed Bill Shoemaker as racing's all-timer leading rider. Earlier this year he won the riding title at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

"This is great because of my age," Pincay said. "I didn't think I could be fighting for leading rider. I hope my luck continues."

Pincay said he plans to take a vacation in December, which eliminates any chance of winning a title at the fall Hollywood meeting. "I think I'll need a vacation," he said.

Carava wins first title

Pincay's milestone overshadowed the first training title for Jack Carava, 35, who operates a large public stable.

Carava finished with 22 winners, one more than Bob Baffert. Carava began Monday with a one-race lead, but lost his advantage when the Baffert-trained Gibson County won the second race. Carava won the title when Kipper's Kitten won the third race, her second victory of the meeting.

Carava had a four-race lead over Baffert entering the week, but saw his advantage slowly disappear. He had two close seconds in photo finishes over the weekend.

Attendance, handle take hits

Hollywood Park finished the 66-day spring-summer meeting with a significant drop in average ontrack attendance. The decline was attributed by management to a loss of Friday night racing, which is popular with younger fans.

Overall handle figures fell, but there was a slight gain of .2 percent in average out-of-state handle.

The average daily ontrack attendance was 8,345, a drop of 12.8 percent from last year. Ontrack average handle was $2,060,589, a loss of 7.3 percent. Overall handle fell 2.2 percent, to $10,138,472.

The slowdown in business resulted in a 7 percent purse cut halfway through the meeting.

A month before the meeting began in April the track announced it would not run on Friday nights because of concerns about California's power shortage and possible blackouts. In the end, there were no blackouts and no need for the track to use its backup generators.

"Losing Friday night kind of robbed the meeting of its personality," track president Rick Baedeker said. "It strengthens our commitment to returning to Friday nights unless we're in some kind of crisis."

Baedeker said Friday night racing is scheduled for the first two weeks of the fall meeting in November and for next year's spring-summer meeting.

One for The Seven Seas

The Seven Seas had no trouble dispatching four rivals and defending her title in Monday's $106,500 Estrapade Stakes on the closing day of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.

A 5-year-old, The Seven Seas was sent off at 1-5 and ran to her odds, winning by 2 1/2 lengths over Nepenthe. Ridden by Alex Solis, she stalked pacesetters Running Flame and Palace Royale for the first mile, rallied wide on the final turn. and won comfortably, finishing 1 1/2 miles on turf in 2:27.20.

"This was very much a workout for her," Solis said.

The Seven Seas was as close as 2 1/2 lengths to Running Flame after a half-mile, but did not take the lead until the final turn.

"When they're 1-5, you keep them a little more in the race," trainer Bobby Frankel said.

Letter of Intent finished third, followed by Palace Royale and Running Flame.

Aside from the 2000 Estrapade, The Seven Seas has won the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland since arriving from France in late 1999.

Owned by Audrey Skirball-Kenis and Charles Kenis, The Seven Seas will be pointed for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 27, Frankel said.

"I think by the end of the year she'll be a serious horse," Frankel said.