08/22/2004 11:00PM

Fair offers parlay promotion


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Each track on the northern California fair circuit provides daily giveaways for fans attending the races, but there's an interesting twist to the giveaway at the California State Fair.

Most fairs do a "win-place-show" promotion, with fans dropping entries in boxes corresponding to post position numbers for a certain race. Winners are drawn after the race from the boxes of the win, place, and show horses, with each winner receiving a betting voucher.

The State Fair goes one step farther with it's "Let It Ride" giveaway. Ten fans will be picked each day and given $100 vouchers that they must use for win, place, or show wagers on three upcoming races.

All of the contestants' winnings from race one are wagered on the second race. Contestants have the option before the third race of keeping 50 percent of their winnings and betting the rest to win, place, or show - or they can let it ride and bet the entire amount.

"It's fun and allows fans to use their handicapping skills," said Dave Elliott, director of racing. "Last year, one fan ended up winning $1,300 and another won $800. With win-place-show, the people sometimes just cash in the vouchers, but here they have to bet, and it creates fun and interest and also helps our handle."

Track doctor favors weight changes

Dr. David Seftel, the track physician for Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows and primary medical adviser to the Jockeys' Guild, was disappointed and "extremely frustrated" after the California Horse Racing Board put off a decision on new minimum weights for riders at its August meeting.

Seftel is a passionate supporter of a plan to increase the minimum weight for Thoroughbred riders to 118 pounds, not including clothing and equipment. He also wants jockeys to have to maintain at least 5 percent body fat.

He said he appreciated the board's willingness to engage in a long discussion with all segments of the industry at its meeting, but was concerned about what he called "anecdotal evidence" being presented in opposition to widely held medical standards about athletes and nutrition in other sports.

Some trainers and owners asked whether increasing weight minimums would lead to additional breakdowns, while other people, including track executives, suggested that increasing weight minimums in California before other states have done so might lead to an exodus of horses.

The commissioners did not come to an agreement on weight, so the topic was tabled until the September meeting, when the CHRB staff has been asked to present revised regulations.

Seftel said he "felt the board should have had the courage to make a decision," and that he's "concerned the board is using delaying tactics. Ultimately, jockey health serves the best interest of the racing community."

Seftel said he was concerned that if the industry didn't take the lead, outside regulatory bodies, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, might step in.

Clip turns in upset in marathon

Just call trainer Dennis Hopkins the master of the marathon after Clip scored a $29.60 upset over 3-5 favorite Potri Cacho in Sunday's 1 5/8-mile C.J. Hindley Humboldt County Marathon. He won by three-quarters of a length.

"The bragging rights are pretty good," said Hopkins, who won the race two years ago with Roger Roger.

Hopkins was surprised to see Clip on the lead, but jockey Victor Navarro said the 9-year-old gelding broke strongly, settled nicely, and took over early while setting a comfortable pace.

"You have to figure out the right horse to go in this race," Hopkins said. "It has to be a horse that will run all day. You have to do a lot of galloping with them and increase the distance."

Clip was 1 for 17 this year before winning the marathon, and that victory came opening week at Ferndale in a $3,200 claimer. Sunday's victory was worth $7,330, lifting his career earnings to $54,893 with six wins in 54 starts.

Easy win for Scattering

Trainer Karen Haverty, her husband, Jim, and jockey Victor Miranda were thrilled with Scattering's win in Saturday's Don Harmon Memorial/Les Mademoiselle Stakes at Ferndale.

"Victor rode her perfectly," Jim Haverty said. "We thought she might be on the lead, but the race set up perfectly. It looked like a false pace, and Victor sat back. When he moved five wide down the backstretch, he had plenty of horse and won easily.

"Karen had her completely geared up. We pointed to this race since she ran third at Santa Rosa," in a $25,000 claimer on July 28.

The even-money favorite, Scattering beat second choice In Love With Loot by 8 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/16-mile race. She earned $6,125 for her third victory this year for owner Bennie Lafever, improving her career record to 27-5-3-11 for earnings of $86,955.

* Miranda, who had 17 wins, won the Ferndale riding title with 115 points (5 for first, 3 for second, 1 for third). Ryan Morris was second with 105 and Navarro third with 95. Ray Thomas won a close race for leading trainer with 56 points, compared to 51 for Hopkins and 50 for Warren Shelley.