04/15/2016 7:01PM

Allred expresses concerns about long-term future of Los Alamitos


CYPRESS, Calif. – Los Alamitos track owner Ed Allred sent a letter to track employees and horsemen on Friday reiterating his commitment to continue racing at the Orange County track but expressing reservations about the long-term prospects for the racecourse beyond his lifetime.

In the one-page letter, Allred mentioned several issues previously discussed in a late-March interview – that some excess land on racetrack property will be developed, that discussions continue with the cities of Cypress and Los Alamitos about long-term use of the property, and that Allred continues to support Quarter Horse racing by breeding approximately 130 horses a year.

Allred, the nation’s leading breeder of Quarter Horses, turns 80 in May. He said in an interview in late March that he plans to continue racing at Los Alamitos indefinitely, a point that he stressed in Friday’s letter.

“I am 80 years old in a few weeks,” he said. “I am well and healthy, having recovered from urologic surgery in November 2015. I continue to breed 130 Quarter Horse foals each year.

“I love what I am doing and I love [Los Alamitos Race Course] and the people who race and work here. It is my strong desire to keep Los Alamitos Race Course operational as long as horsemen support the racing program and so long as I am able to oversee the operation with the help of [track president] Cathy Monji and our devoted staff.

“It is unlikely upon my passing or serious disability that another group could be found that could acquire the track for racing purposes. It is possible, but not likely at this time, that some form of alternative gaming could change the economics of racing in a positive way, enabling California racing to thrive.”

He concluded with the message “let’s plan on 10 years and at that time reevaluate the status of my health and proceed as indicated.”

In his letter, Allred said the track is continuing to work with the cities of Cypress and Los Alamitos about long-term uses for the property, particularly acreage not vital to the existing horse-racing operation. The track is located in Cypress and adjacent to Los Alamitos.

Allred said there are 217 acres of property used for horse racing and undeveloped land formerly used for a golf course. He said 34 acres of undeveloped land was recently sold to a developer with plans for a senior housing project, and that an additional “50 to 60 acres” could be developed without disrupting the Quarter Horse program.

In an interview in late March, Allred said the value of the property makes operating a racetrack unfeasible, but that he wants to continue racing for the sake of the game.

Los Alamitos is currently running a three-week daytime Thoroughbred meeting through May 1 and will have Thoroughbred meetings in September and December. The track operates a meeting for Quarter Horses and lower-level Thoroughbreds on a year-round basis. Los Alamitos has offered stabling for approximately 800 Thoroughbreds who also race at Santa Anita and Del Mar since the closure of Hollywood Park in December 2013.