Double-Digit Declines at Hollywood Park

Meet highlighted by Zenyatta's Vanity Handicap victory for her 17th consecutive win.

Hollywood Park concluded its 57-day spring meet July 18 with a 10.4% average decline in attendance and a 10.3% drop in average daily wagering.

According to a release from the Southern California oval, attendance averaged 12,676, compared with a daily average of 14,149 during its 55-day meet in 2009.

Average daily handle in Southern California of 4,794,545 represented a decline of 10.6% from the average of $5,362,931 during the corresponding meet a year ago. All sources average handle declined 10.3% from $10,561,323 in 2009 to $9,474,780 in 2010.

"Although we are disappointed with the numbers, we thought the meet was exciting from a racing standpoint,’’ Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau said in a release, noting that one of the meet highlights was the 17th consecutive victory for the undefeated mare Zenyatta.

Liebau said one positive aspect of the meet was the successful experiment of Thursday night racing. He said Hollywood Park plans to begin its fall meet with a night program Nov. 4.

Jockey Joel Rosario defended his crown with 79 winners, four more victories than runner-up Rafael Bejarano. Rosario has won the last three meets at Hollywood Park, including the fall season in 2009. Trainer Doug O’Neill won his fifth spring-summer title. He finished with 28 victories, one more than Bob Baffert, who started 77 fewer horses (162-85). O’Neill has won nine training championships at Hollywood Park.

La Canada Stables topped the owners’ standings by wins, with 16 victories. In terms of earnings, Mace and Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable led for a second year in a row, with purses totaling $456,920.