Betfair Hollywood Park contains special memories for trainer Tom Proctor, who remembers being 16 and standing in the winner's circle in 1972 after Convenience, the mare his father, Willard, trained, won a memorable winner-take-all match race against Typecast in front of 53,575.
It was only fitting that Proctor was back in the winner's circle Sunday on the final day of the last spring-summer meeting at the Inglewood track after his 5-year-old mare, Marketing Mix, won the $100,250 Sunset Handicap by one length over defending champion Dhaamer. Extensive finished third.
Jockey Gary Stevens guided Marketing Mix to victory in the 11/2 -mile turf marathon, the longest race of her career and the first time she has raced against males. Marketing Mix has won 10 races in 18 starts and earned $1,869,518 for Glen Hill Farm, which also owned Convenience.
"Glen Hill Farm and the Proctors have raced a lot of winners here," Proctor said. "It means a lot. The Sunset Handicap, I watched a lot of good horses win it. I know the place has slipped a little bit in the last year or two, but it's still good to win a race of this caliber."
There was a lot of drama in the competition for the jockey championship. Joe Talamo began the week with 50 victories, four more than Rafael Bejarano and seven ahead of Edwin Maldonado.
But Maldonado won eight races in four days. He took the lead at 51 on Sunday with victories in the second and third races. Then Bejarano tied him with victories in the fourth and seventh races. That's how it ended, with Maldonado and Bejarano sharing the title.
John Sadler won the training championship.
The final Hollywood Park meeting before demolition crews arrive will be the autumn meeting from Nov. 6 through Dec. 22.
Del Mar begins its 37-day meeting Wednesday.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun