11/03/2004 12:00AM

Thistledown track report

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Julio Felix took a 17-13 lead in the jockey standings over Luis Gonzalez on Monday, when he won 5 of the 9 races, including the first three. Felix won the opener on Mystic Appeal ($5) and the second with Gambling Time ($11) for a $31.60 daily double. In the third he won with Final Endeavor ($12.60) to complete a $180.80 pick three.

Mystic Appeal and Final Endeavor are both owned by Bruce Talisman and trained by Greg Miller. Felix capped off the day by winning the $25.60 late daily double with Matter of Justice ($6.40) and Miss Briteness ($5.60).

* Effective last Monday, purses here were increased 8 percent across the board. The minimum purse for $3,500 claimers is now $6,900.

"There are several reasons for us to raise purses," said Bill Murphy, Thistledown vice president and general manager. "Our horsemen have been outstanding in their cooperation, allowing us to be able to average 9.0 in field size at this point in a 187-day season. This is something they and our staff can all be proud of."

Bill Couch, the director of racing and racing secretary, reports that field size is up 4 percent over last year through the first 148 days of the season.

"The field size should maintain it's present level or maybe increase slightly the final 39 days of the season now that we have new horses from the completed Great Lakes Downs meeting," Couch said