11/09/2002 12:00AM

Apprentice Duran rides four-bagger

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ALBANY, Calif. - Apprentice jockey Francisco Duran had one of the best days of his career Friday, winning four races at Golden Gate Fields.

He won three in a row, beginning with the second race aboard Double Dollar Day ($14). He won the third with Alyround the Flag ($5.60) and the fourth with Chapilkim ($32.80). He also won the day's finale in the eighth with Highly Amusing ($9.60).

Duran has won seven races through the first three days of the meeting, two more than perennial leader Russell Baze.

Duran won four races in a day twice during the fair circuit at Vallejo and Santa Rosa.

"Winning four is just good, but winning four here, at a main meeting, is really good," said Duran, who shared top apprentice honors for the Bay Meadows meeting with Omar Figueroa.

Duran, who has improved markedly since his first win here aboard Nice Calves last Dec. 30, has the apprentice bug until Jan. 18.

Duran has ridden 166 winners, including a stakes victory in the Courtship Stakes at Bay Meadows aboard Tale of a Dream. He is second in the nation in total wins for apprentices, trailing only Ryan Fogelsonger, who had 209 wins through Saturday.

Duran was the leading rider on the northern California fair circuit, winning jockey titles at Stockton, Vallejo, and the Bay Meadows Fair, where he edged Baze by one victory.

Handle increases at Bay Meadows

The total average daily handle for Bay Meadows increased 0.6 percent during the 50-day fall meet that ended Nov. 3, thanks mainly to an 8.2 percent increase in northern California off-track wagers.

Ontrack handle declined by 7.5 percent, while out-of-state handle declined by 1.9 percent.

Ontrack attendance fell by 2.9 percent, the bulk of which came from a 53.8 percent drop on the first three Fridays of the meeting when day cards were substituted for night cards.

Turf feature

A field of six older fillies and mares will compete in Monday's feature, a 1 1/16-mile, $50,000 optional claimer on the turf. Kissing Girl, who won her U.S. debut on Oct. 13 at Bay Meadows, is the probable favorite.

It marks the first use of the turf course since opening day Wednesday. Rain forced Thursday's scheduled turf races to be shifted to the main track.

* Jose Rivera Jr. received a three-day suspension beginning Monday for his ride aboard Demon Warlock on closing day at Bay Meadows. The 2-year-old Demon Warlock was involved in a bumping incident in the lane, although it did not result in a disqualification.

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