POMONA, CA, SEPT. 27, 2010-Fairplex Park completed its 72nd season of racing Monday with familiar names atop the jockey and trainer standings, but like other venues fighting economic doldrums, showed decreases in handle and attendance during the 15-day meet.
Fairplex handled $7,083,756 on track compared to $7,128,169 in 2009, a drop of 5.09 percent. The overall handle of $75,481,772 was short of last year's $78,525,775, representing a decrease of 8.17 percent.
On-track attendance totaled 61,715 compared to 69,303 last year, 14.15 percent less than last year. Overall attendance was 143,728, compared to 156,522 in 2009, a decline of 11.70 percent.
But that didn't stop Pedroza and O'Neill from doing their thing on the race track. Pedroza won 45 races to capture his 12th consecutive Fairplex title and his 13th overall, while the 42-year-old O'Neill won the training crown for the second straight year and the seventh time in the last nine by sending out 14 winners. Jorge Gutierrez enjoyed an outstanding meet with 10 wins from 33 starters to finish second to O'Neill.
Pedroza is Fairplex Park's career leader in victories with 651. He also leads in stakes wins with 69, four of them this meet. The 45-year-old Panamanian lost mounts on seven horses that won with replacement riders last Thursday and Friday when he took off with medical issues, or he could have broken his meet record of 51 wins set over 17 days in 2004.
Alonso Quinonez was a distant second to Pedroza with 15 wins, followed by Christian Santiago Reyes with 14.
Mel Stute, the inaugural member of the track's Hall of Fame in 2003, won Monday's fourth race with Unbridled Score, and the 12th and final with My Last Tycoon, increasing the 83-year-old trainer's lifetime best at the track to 189.
The Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meet begins Thursday night. First post time is 7:05 p.m.