Los Al Fairplex Dates Approved

Los Alamitos will host additional Thoroughbred racing this year.


Los Alamitos has expanded in anticipation of hosting Thoroughbred racing.

The California Horse Racing Board gave approval  on June 19 for the Los Angeles County Fair (LACF) to move its three-week meet to Los Alamitos Race Course after 75 years of racing at the Pomona fairgrounds.

The move comes less than six months after the shuttering of Hollywood Park in Inglewood for development purposes. It will mean the end of racing at the Fairplex Park facility, as the LACF intends to remove the track and stabling area in the coming months and commit the property to other fair-related uses. As part of the agreement, LACF has committed to keep its facility open for training of up to 500 horses through November 5. The 11-day meet from September 4-23 will move to Los Alamitos Race Course.

Although the board's action Thursday addressed only the 2014 race calendar, the two tracks also have agreed to transfer the 2015 racing dates as well. Senate Bill 721 authorizes the LACF to move its race meet to any other Thoroughbred racing jurisdiction in the state's southern zone. The measure has received final approval from the State Legislature and has been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his expected signature, officials said.

Los Alamitos, home of nighttime Quarter Horse racing, has taken significant steps into the Thoroughbred game as it attempts to partially fill the void left by the loss of Hollywood Park. The Orange County facility enlarged its racing oval from five furlongs to nearly one mile and renovated the racing surface earlier this year. It has enlarged its stabling area to handle 500 Thoroughbreds on the grounds, with barns for 200 more being constructed. The track has added a new infield spectator area, dozens of new HD television monitors, and several new bar and eating locations, according to Brad McKinzie, vice president of the Los Alamitos Racing Association.

Los Alamitos has been granted a license to conduct an eight-day Thoroughbred meet July 3-13 and also is on the calendar for a three-week stand in December. It will now have eight weeks of Thoroughbred racing. Fairplex Park was originally awarded 13 racing days for September, but Los Alamitos plans to run 11 days, dropping two Wednesdays. The program dates are September 5-7, 11-14, and 18-21.

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