09/24/2007 11:00PM

Fairplex handle declines

EmailField size was up and pick six carryovers were down at the Los Angeles County Fair meet that ended Monday. Overall, the 16-day Fairplex season ended with a slight decline in all-sources handle. Based on preliminary figures, average daily handle on Fairplex races was more than $6.8 million, down roughly 3.5 percent over the record 2006 meet.

The pick six carried only three times in 2007, compared with 2006, when a three-day carryover contributed to a record single-day handle of more than $10 million and overall meet handle of more than $113 million. The overall preliminary 2007 handle was approximately $109 million.

The number of starters per race rose to 8.5.

"The numbers are satisfactory," said Fairplex's equine manager, Paul Ryneveld. "The difference, obviously, was no triple carryover. And we would have done a little better without the 'no-contest' race and the wet weather. But the number of starters per race was up, and that was a positive."

Fairplex refunded more than $440,000 in wagers because of a race that was declared no contest, and wet weather closing weekend dampened handle.

Martin Pedroza led the jockey standings for the 10th time, riding 35 winners from 135 mounts, four more than Tyler Baze (31 for 131). Pedroza has ridden a record 519 winners at Fairplex.

Doug O'Neill led the trainer standings for the fifth time in six years, saddling 12 winners from 56 starters. Jeff Mullins was second with 10 wins from 37 starters. Favorites won 60 of 164 Thoroughbred races at Fairplex, 37 percent.