Average Nightly Handle Rises at Los Alamitos

The track's average nightly handle reached $1,240,887 for the 151-night season.

Edited press release

Los Alamitos honored its leading horsemen on Sunday, closing night of the track's 151-night meet. Pictured (from left) are leading jockey Cesar DeAlba, leading trainer Paul Jones and his daughter Allie, and jockey agent Neil Bricks. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse.

Los Alamitos Racecourse registered a 2-percent increase in average nightly handle during its 151-night meet, which ended on Sunday.

Los Alamitos' average handle reached $1,240,887, up from the $1,217,266 average from 2015. The track's average on-track handle was $115,780, down 2 percent from last year's average of $118,305. Average daily account wagering was up 1 percent to $424,604.

The total all-sources handle at Los Alamitos was $187,373,939, up from $182,590,177 in 2015.

A year-long meet saw several top horses posting major victories for prominent owners.  Jim Walker’s Idaho-bred Zoomin For Spuds won the prestigious Grade 1 Champion of Champions, while Fawna Knight’s Worth Doing won the meet’s richest race, the Grade 1 $1,950,500 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. The track’s two other million dollar races went to Lucky Seven Ranch’s Lotta Blues Man (Golden State Million Futurity) and Dutch Masters III's Chazaq (Ed Burke Million Futurity).

Los Alamitos' richest race for 3-year-olds, the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby, was won by Reliance Ranches’ Big Lew, while the Grade 1 Bank of America Challenge Championship went to Michael Teel’s AJs High. Other top winners included S-Quarter K LLC’s Heza Dasha Fire (the Grade 1 Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship and Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap), Lucky Seven Ranch’s Sass Me Blue (the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap), Ed Allred’s He Looks Hot and Quirky (the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity and Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap, respectively), Ron Hartley’s One Proud Eagle (Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity), and Urschel 3-D Ranch LLC’s Rite Regal (Golden State Derby and El Primero Del Ano Derby).

The early Pick Fours continued to be the most popular wager at Los Alamitos with an all-time record figure of $192,292 set on Sunday, April 10. The meet featured the five highest Pick 4 pools ever. The early Pick 4 pool is often over $150,000 per night. The meet also featured the second highest late Pick 4 pool of $138,670 on Sunday, April 3. Three out of the top four highest pools in the late Pick 4 were established in 2016.

Ed Allred, the sport’s all-time leading owner and breeder, was Los Alamitos' top Quarter Horse owner with 56 wins from 341 starters. EG High Desert Farms was the second leading owner with 48 wins headed by multiple stakes winners Unclaimed Dividend and Jess Ravin. Dr. Steve Burns finished third with 21 wins.

Paul Jones was the meet’s leading Quarter Horse trainer for the 18th time in the last 19 years, as the 14-time AQHA champion trainer won 90 races, topped by John Sperry’s multiple derby winner Jess Good Reason. Jose Flores with 56 wins and Jaime Gomez with 48 finished second and third.

The Quarter Horse race for leading rider was one of the best in decades, as Cesar DeAlba clinching his first title on the meet’s next-to-last race. DeAlba won 102 races, one more than runner-up Jesus Rios Ayala. Cruz Mendez, the leading rider the previous four years, finished third in the standings with 68 wins.

Los Alamitos will open its 2017 Quarter Horse meet on December 30.

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