Itís said you canít win if you donít play. The horsemen at the 2005 L.A. County Fairís record-breaking horse racing meet played to win for 16 days in September and will now share in some additional monies. That seems like a winning combination.
The recently concluded L.A. County Fair, held Sept. 9-Oct. 2, and its long-running live horse racing meet, Sept. 9-26, finished big. The handle was the largest in the trackís 67-year history, a staggering $113,624,214 wagered during the 16-day meeting, full fields were celebrated, an impressive contingent of jockeys provided the drama at what has been called the biggest little track in America, with oh yeah, picture-perfect weather.
Now more celebrating is in order, as checks will be delivered to horsemen prior to the end of the year sharing the bounty of $241,209, which represents a six percent overpayment of purses as a result of the overnight races. The same thing occurred in 2003, following a very successful meeting that garnered the trackís second highest all-time handle of $109,249,303.
An all-together satisfying 2005 Fairplex Park meeting also included the highest single-race payoff, which occurred when 80-1 longshot Ciscoís Kite crossed the finish line and an all-time Pick Six pool of more than $800,000. Fairplex Park consistently ranks among the top 10 tracks in North America for daily handle, which averages $7.1 million. It remains one of the few sites where families can attend the Fair and become racing fans.
Fairplex, home of the annual L.A. County Fair is also an equine destination. The prestigious on-site Barretts Equine Ltd., hosts six sales each year including the renowned March Sale of Selected Two-Year-Old Thoroughbreds in Training. Barretts and CTBA joined forces for the inaugural Californiaís October Yearling Sale, merging the Del Mar and Barretts October sales events. The successful debut exceeded the expectations of both entities. Fairplex Park is the year-round host of satellite wagering and facilitates a training facility with barns and stalls that can accommodate 700 horses.
Tentative dates for the 2006 L.A. County Fair are Sept. 8-Oct. 1, with horse racing slated Sept. 8-Sept. 25. Visit the Web site www.fairplex.com for more information.