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Bay Meadows Falls Short

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While Santa Anita is heading into its final three weeks, Bay Meadows is just getting started.

The track in San Mateo will begin its 55-day meet today and there wasn’t exactly a stampede to the entry box.

The average field size for the eight races was seven and only one race, the sixth, drew more than eight runners.

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What will be interesting at Bay Meadows is to see if jockey Jason Lumpkins can give perennial riding king Russell Baze a run for his money in the standings.

Baze ran away with the championship at Golden Gate Fields, winning 159 races, 88 more than runner-up Jose Arriaga.

However, Lumpkins, who finished third in the standings despite missing a majority of the meet, has been sizzling of late and arrives at Bay Meadows with some momentum.

Both riders will be busy today. Baze is named on horses in seven races; Lumpkins is scheduled to ride all but the second and sixth.

With the start of Bay Meadows, bettors in California will now be able to designate an alternate selection in the pick four if one of their original choices is scratched.

Before today, players were stuck with the race favorite if their pick was scratched.

Race of the day: Although it drew only six runners, the second at Santa Anita is an interesting starter allowance race at 11/4 miles on the turf. Arbiter, who won two in a row for trainer Craig Lewis earlier in the meet, will be making his grass debut against old pros Soul Warrior, Nates Colony and Sharp Play.

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Who’s hot: Arromanches. The 9-year-old--whose 10-race winning streak ended in his only start for trainer Arthur Wendel, who hasn’t won a race since the spring of 2000--got back on the beam Saturday at Aqueduct. Arromanches won by a nose after rejoining the barn of trainer Scott Lake.

Who’s not: Gary Sciacca. The trainer, who has horses in Florida and New York, is 3 for 74 in 2002.

Exotically speaking: A pick three singling Collection in the third, using all in the fourth and singling Rock Cod Johnny in the fifth.

Winners: Previous day/meet total: 4/195. Money: Previous day/meet total: $28.20/$1,154.20. Total money bet: $1,202.

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