02/11/2002 1:00AM

Portland average handle jumps


PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Meadows ended its abbreviated 2001-02 meeting on Sunday, handling a meet-topping $315,157 on 14 live races. The day brought the average handle for 46 live cards to $147,175, a 19 percent increase over last season's average of $123,332 for 80 programs.

Felipe Valdez earned his first riding title at the meet, while Jim Fergason was the leading trainer.

The track's scheduled 80-day meet was cut short in order to construct a new waste water disposal system that is required by the Environmental Protection Agency. The track will reopen in October for its 2002-03 season.