TEAM WEST ON A ROLL
Pomona, Calif. (Sept.10) - Trainer Ted West knows something about saddling winners at Fairplex Park.
Even though he turned his stable over to his capable son, Ted H. West, several years ago, Ted senior still ranks third on the all-time list of winning trainers at Fairplex Park with 141 victories. At the top of the roster is veteran Mel Stute with 186 while Jerry Fanning holds the second spot at 143.
Going into Wednesday's Pomona program, Ted H. West, now assisted by his father, is atop the trainer standings with four winners, from just six starters for a 67 percent win quotient.
Right behind in second are Jeff Mullins, Gary Sherlock and Frank Monteleone with three apiece.
Two weeks before the meeting got underway, the father and son tandem shipped their 25-horse stable to Fairplex from Del Mar, and expected to do well.
"We have a lot of horses that fit here," said Ted senior, "and so far, things have worked out well. But I don't think we can lead in the standings by the end of the season because Jeff Mullins and Doug O'Neill have too many horses. Last year they both entered a lot more horses than we did."
The statistics bear out West's line of thinking.
In 2007 O'Neill was the leading trainer with 12 winners from 56 starters, while Mullins finished second with 10 triumphs from 37 races.
Team West wound up tied for third with Ray Thomas at seven winners each. However, the West barn's win percentage was 37, highest in the "Top 10." The stable banked $199,938 in purses, second only to O'Neill's $402,580. This year after only four days purse earnings for the West barn stands at $110,930.
Ted senior always has supported Fairplex because he likes the convention dirt track.
In 2003 he brought fan favorite and ex-claimer Bluesthestandard to Pomona prior to the Fairplex meet, and worked him several times over the five-eighths mile dirt track.
"He was a little sore after his races at Del Mar, but once he got on this surface, the soreness disappeared and he started training really well," explained West.
So well in fact, that a month latter Team West saw him finish second at 13-1 to Cajun Beat in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.
How will the barn fare during the final 12 days of the season?
"We've still got plenty of horses to run, if we can find the right races," said West.
Team West won the Fairplex opening day $65,000 Jim Kostoff Stakes, formerly known as the Derby Trial Stakes, with Trevor's Clever, and are expected to wheel him back in the $100,000 Pomona Derby on Sept. 20.