12/23/2007 12:00AM

Handle, attendance increase

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - Hollywood Park ended its 32-day fall meeting on Saturday by showing gains in both all-sources handle and ontrack attendance.

Although final figures from all advance deposit wagering sites were not available as of Sunday, daily average all-sources handle, including simulcast betting on other tracks, was pegged by track officials at about $10.9 million, up 4.8 percent from last year's $10.4 million. Last year's figures were buoyed by the simulcast of the Breeders' Cup, which this year fell during Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

"Last year was the only time simulcast wagering on the Breeders' Cup was available during the autumn meet, so we're ecstatic with this year's increase," said Jack Liebau, Hollywood Park's president. "Excluding Breeders' Cup Day, we finished ahead in ontrack wagering and up 8 percent in total handle."

More than $18.5 million was bet on Saturday's closing-day card, which was highlighted by the CashCall Futurity.

Ontrack handle, which averaged about $1.3 million, was down 4.8 percent from last year. Advance deposit wagering was estimated to be up approximately 8 percent. This was the first Southern California meeting in which all four California-licensed ADW providers accepted wagers on Hollywood Park.

Ontrack attendance averaged 4,944, up 3.5 percent from last year's average of 4,775.

Field size no doubt contributed to the improved figures. Hollywood Park, which has had Cushion Track as its surface for more than a year now, averaged 8.6 starters per race, one of the top figures in the nation.

Purses topped $400,000 per day, up from last year's $389,000.

Garrett Gomez, who is the favorite to win this year's Eclipse Award as champion jockey, won the riding title at the fall meeting for the second straight year. He had 35 wins, seven more than second-place Tyler Baze. Michael Baze was third with 26 wins.

John Sadler won his first training title with 21 wins, handily defeating runner-up Mike Mitchell, who had 11 victories. Sadler finished second at last year's meet to Doug O'Neill.

Country Star, who was a dazzling winner of the Hollywood Starlet, was voted horse of the meeting and was a unanimous choice as top 2-year-old filly in a poll of media members.