07/17/2017 11:46AM

Los Alamitos reports business, field-size declines

Benoit & Associates
West Coast wins the Los Alamitos Derby on Saturday.

CYPRESS, Calif. – Los Alamitos completed its two-week summer meeting on Sunday with a decline in all-sources handle from its last summer meeting, which came in July 2015, according to track officials.

Los Alamitos did not release data on the business of the meeting, which consisted of eight days of racing. The track handled approximately $40.3 million for the meeting, which was plagued by shorter-than-expected fields.

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Direct comparisons to past Los Alamitos meetings are difficult. The track ran a three-week meeting in April 2016 but did not run last July. The July 2015 meeting included racing on July 4. This year, July 4 was the closing day of the Santa Anita spring-summer meeting.

At this summer’s meet, fields averaged 6.82 runners per race. By comparison, the April 2016 meeting averaged 7.07 runners per race. The track’s highest average field size of 7.9 runners was recorded at last December’s meeting.

Racing secretary Bob Moreno said the summer meeting’s position between the end of the six-month Santa Anita meeting and the start of the Del Mar summer meeting on Wednesday makes drawing entries difficult for such a brief meeting.

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“Entries will be that way with where we are situated between the two meets,” he said.

Moreno said he was “a little disappointed” with field sizes at the meeting. He expects bigger fields for the September and December meetings. The Los Angeles County Fair meeting will be held Sept. 7-24.

“I think we’ll be better in September and December,” he said. “When everyone is stabled at Santa Anita, it’s a little easier.”

There were two graded stakes during the eight-day meeting, each worth $200,000. Skye Diamonds won the Grade 2 Great Lady M. Stakes for female sprinters on July 8. West Coast won the Grade 3 Los Alamitos Derby last Saturday.

Apprentice jockey Evin Roman was the clear winner of the riding title with 13 wins, the most for a two-week Los Alamitos meeting. Roman, 19, began riding in California in February and finished in a tie with Flavien Prat for the title at the Santa Anita spring-summer meeting.

Doug O’Neill led all trainers with six wins, the sixth time that O’Neill has led or shared a training title in the 10 meetings Los Alamitos has held since the track was expanded to accommodate Thoroughbred racing in early 2014.

Paul and Zillah Reddam led all owners with six wins.