Los Al Approved to Run Big League TBs

Los Alamitos to add five weeks of Thoroughbred racing.

By Richard Chamberlain
Q-Racing Journal
September 19, 2013

Los Alamitos

The California Horse Racing Board, at its meeting this morning, voted unanimously to grant five weeks of first-class Thoroughbred racing to Los Alamitos Race Course. Those weeks of major league racing are in response to the final closing of Hollywood Park, which will cease to exist as a racetrack after this year.

Los Alamitos Race Course will conduct five weeks of daytime Thoroughbred racing in both 2014 and 2015, highlighted by a lucrative stakes schedule. It is anticipated that several historic Hollywood Park races will be conducted as part of the meet. The five weeks of Thoroughbred racing in 2014 would be split between a two-week summer meeting (July 3-13) and a three-week winter meeting (December 4-21).

According to Los Alamitos owner Dr. Ed Allred, the purse structure for the Thoroughbred meet is expected to be less than Hollywood Park, but better than that at Fairplex Park in Pomona. Thoroughbred racing would be conducted on a Thursday-Sunday basis. In addition, Los Alamitos will continue to conduct night-time Quarter Horse racing concurrently with this new Thoroughbred meet. Los Alamitos is the home of year-round racing and Quarter Horse racing’s richest stakes schedule in the nation, highlighted by the $2 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1).

Plans call for the existing 5/8th oval at Los Alamitos to be expanded to approximately one mile and will include the widening of the turns to accommodate Thoroughbreds. According to Allred, construction will begin as soon as permits are in place and is expected to continue through the end of this December, including 24-hour, round-the-clock work during the week the track is closed for Christmas. The existing track will function throughout the process.

Los Alamitos also will build 200 additional stalls for Quarter Horses. There will be a total of 700 stalls for Thoroughbreds and 900 for Quarter Horses.

“We want to make this a fun event,” Allred told CHRB. “After our five weeks of (Thoroughbred) racing is finished, we want the horseman to leave on December 22 knowing this was a good time, a fun time, a profitable time, and wanting to come back again next year.”