FAIRPLEX PARK AT L.A. COUNTY FAIR OPEN FOR TRAINING
Fairplex, home of the L. A. County Fair is currently accepting applications for horses to use the Fairplex Park racetrack for training. Fairplex Park is the site of the live thoroughbred horseracing meet that runs concurrent with the annual L.A. County Fair. Dates for the 2002 Fair are Sept. 13-29.
Allocating stables, assisting trainers and filling the races at Fairplex are among the duties in the very capable hands of Racing Secretary Dick Wheeler. Wheeler has worked at Fairplex Park for 30 years, the last 12 as racing secretary.
While he has seen plenty of change within the industry, one of the biggest challenges he faces is filling 10 thoroughbred races a day for 17 straight days. Wheeler said, “This is the only race meet in the world, that I know of, that goes for 17 straight days.” In the past horses from Arizona, Washington and Utah have come to Fairplex Park to race. He is hoping for a good contingent of out of state horses to help round out the fields this year.
Wheeler said his wish list for the upcoming meet includes full fields, good weather and smooth sailing.
The meeting will offer at least one stakes race a day beginning with the Foothill Stakes at 6-1/2 furlongs on opening day Friday, Sept. 13. The $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap, slated for Sunday, Sept. 29, takes the season’s top billing. The event for
3-year-olds and up will go at 1-1/8 miles and will honor the Fair Association’s late president and chief executive officer.
The Pomona Derby on Saturday, Sept. 28 (3-year-olds, 1-1/8 miles), and the Las Madrinas Handicap on Friday, Sept. 27 (3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, 1-1/16 miles), will each offer guaranteed purses of $100,000.
The Barretts Debutante for fillies is set for Saturday, Sept. 21, followed by t