05/08/2002 12:00AM

Fairmount track report


COLLINSVILLE, Ill. - Carmelo Mendoza, who for several years was assistant to trainer Ronnie Ward at Fairmount Park, struck out on his own this season and is off to a rousing start, winning with six of his first 24 starters here. Last Friday, Mendoza had two winners at Sportsman's Park before adding another one at Fairmount that evening.

* Jockey Cynthia Medina, who holds the single season and career records for a female jockey at Fairmount, was back in action last weekend after missing the beginning of the meet because of complications caused by scar tissue from surgery she had last year.

Medina, who is closing in on 1,000 career victories, got her first win in Sunday's seventh aboard Treatwithkidgloves ($9) and was back in the winner's circle again Tuesday with Forty Times ($14.40). Both winners were saddled by her first-call client, trainer Eddie Essenpreis.

* Owners Jim Watkins and Larry Hedgecorth got a quick return on their investment when trainer Bill Hickam sent out Myrack ($12.40) to win against $10,000 claimers last Saturday afternoon. Hickam claimed Myrack for $5,000 on April 13 and she earned $4,200 of that back in the first start for her new connections.