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Finishing at Fairplex

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 9/3/2013 4:07:15 AM

With the racing action in Southern California changing forever with only one more meeting at Hollywood Park, the Fairplex Park stand takes on more importance for every fan including online sports betting site enthusiasts.

The meeting opens September 6 and rolls until September 22 and over the years this meeting has changed drastically.

Back in the day, the smaller barns would point all year for these days because the purses were decent and the big barns would like in wait for the Oak Tree meet and the fall meet at Hollywood Park. But because of simulcasting and more purse money, the big barns would be enticed back to participate and the little barns again had to struggle to make ends meet.

Fairplex, located in Pomona, is a five-eighths furlong track, which means tight turns, quick decisions and agile runners. There is only 757 feet from the last turn to the finish and having the lead at this track is very important but not tantamount.

One of the objectives to betting longshots at this meet is to key in on runners that either have a race or the surface, or are used to running on a bullring, a 4 or 5-furlong track.

Last year Live the Forth, who is owned by Kentucky Derby winning owner Paul Reddam and trained by Edward Freeman, ran three times at Fairplex and won every single time. The runner has been training at Del Mar and should be pointing to action in the next few weeks.

Freeman, by the way, has to be watched. He breaks most of Reddam’s young horses and he knows what he is doing. He sent out 11 horses during Fairplex last year and 4 won.

As far as the online betting racing, the stakes schedule is moderate but the purses are well placed so that runners of moderate quality can make a nice score at this stand. The stakes are basically made up of $50,000 events but the premier events; the Barretts Juvenile and Barretts Debutante offer $100,000 pots.

The closing day feature, the Ralph Hinds Pomona Handicap, also will boast a $100,000 purse.

As far as the riders are concerned, basically this meet has been a little like death, taxes and Martin Pedroza, who has dominated in the standings for years but last year Edwin Maldonado threw a wrench at the perennial leader.

Maldonado had 6 more mounts that Pedroza at last year’s meet and had 7 more winners. Pedroza, on the other hand, had a lot of bad luck and had to settle for 35 minor awards for the meet.

Pedroza, Fairplex’s all-time leading rider, and his best asset is his hustling ability. He can get a horse to be in the right position early and coax him around the tight turns. And he’s cool as a cumber. He has won million-dollar races and the pressure of rebounding and being king of the hill again will not make him sweat.

As far as the training element is concerned, some lesser-known names can thrive at this meet. Last year, Rafael Beccera, who used to be an assistant for great trainer Gary Jones, sent out only 5 during the Pomona stand. Three won and another ran third.

Victor Garcia was betting winning with 3 of his 4 starters while Jorge Gutierrez watched 6 of his 15 starters return for winner’s circle joy.

Bettors should not be scared to take a swing on an interloper at this track but remember, there are a lot of ways to get beat on a short-banked track and try to put the percentages in your favor.

For those that live in California and have not been to Fairplex, don’t miss this opportunity. The Fun Zone has great food and plenty of rides and there is no more intimate setting for racing that is personally known.

It is a great place to take a new face and a novice to the track. If you go to the infield and get close to the rail in the backstretch, you can see the dirt clods flying and really get an excellent feel of how fast these animals go and what it takes to win a race.

Good luck with your horse betting.

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