09/26/2004 11:00PM

Fairplex: Hotel Hall upsets Hinds Invitational


The consistent allowance runner Hotel Hall ended a two-year, 17-race losing streak at Fairplex Park, where he sprang a $28.40 upset in the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap on closing day of the Los Angeles County Fair.

A 6-year-old Irish-bred gelding trained by Mike Mitchell and ridden by Omar Figueroa, Hotel Hall parlayed a ground-saving trip to a neck win over Nose the Trade. Kristine's King, the 1.70-1 favorite, was compromised by a swift pace and finished 4 1/2 lengths back in third; second favorite Jake Skate ran seventh.

It was the second straight year that Mitchell won the Pomona Handicap with a horse he had claimed. Mitchell claimed 2003 winner Chinkapin for $50,000; Hotel Hall was claimed for $80,000 in December 2003. Owned by Tommy Hutton's Dream Stable, Hotel Hall won for just the third time in 27 starts. The final time for about 1 1/8 miles was 1:49.60.