12/05/2011 4:51PM

Hollywood Park going to five-day week; field sizes larger than 2010


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Hollywood Park launches the first of two five-day racing weeks on Wednesday, coinciding with the final two weeks of the autumn meeting, which runs through Dec. 18.

The expanded schedule, from four days a week, comes during a meeting when average field size has been significantly higher than the corresponding meeting in 2010.

Through Sunday, the current meeting has had a field size of 8.08 starters per race. The 2010 meeting averaged 7.29 runners per race.

The Wednesday and Thursday programs have drawn 74 and 68 horses on eight-race cards, although the number of starters will be diminished to some extent by scratches.

The expanded schedule should be easy to meet, considering there were nearly 10 weeks of racing on a five-day basis during Del Mar and Fairplex Park earlier this year, the track's racing secretary, Martin Panza, said on Sunday.

In addition, Penza said a weeklong gap between the end of the current meeting and the start of the Santa Anita meeting on Dec. 26 may provide further incentive to run a horse in coming days.