08/16/2014 4:33PM

Former California Horse Racing Board chairman Landsburg dies at 81

Benoit & Associates
Alan Landsburg owned horses and served on the California Horse Racing Board.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Alan Landsburg, a television writer and producer who served as chairman of the California Horse Racing Board in the early 2000s, died on Thursday, the racing board announced on Saturday.

Landsburg was 81.

In racing, Landsburg purchased his first horse in 1977 and was the co-owner of such runners as Treekster, the winner of the Grade 3 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields in 1992, and Boomzeeboom, who won the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park in 2004. Boomzeeboom broke down a month later.

Landsburg became active in racing’s front office activities as a founding director of the Thoroughbred Owners of California in the early 1990s. He was appointed to the racing board in 2000 and was chairman in 2001-02.

In January 2002, Landsburg was at the head of the racing board when the regulatory body approved the launch of account wagering in the state. That summer, he was the lone board member who voted to allow the Los Angeles County Fair to move its annual September meeting to Santa Anita, a motion that was defeated 4-1. The county fair meeting was run at Fairplex Park through 2013. It will be held at Los Alamitos for the first time this year.

In television, Landsburg developed National Geographic specials, made-for-television movies, documentaries such as the “Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” and the 1980s reality show “That’s Incredible.”

Born in White Plains, N.Y., Landsburg worked for the American Forces Network while serving in the Army during the Korean War. He moved to Los Angeles in 1961 and began his involvement in television.