07/08/2014 3:00PM

Los Alamitos handles $5.6M a day during first week

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CYPRESS, Calif. – The first week of the Los Alamitos summer Thoroughbred meeting ended Sunday with attendance and handle lower than during the corresponding week at now-shuttered Hollywood Park last year.

Over four days, from Thursday through Sunday, Los Alamitos had average ontrack attendance of 3,996, an average ontrack handle of $473,126, and an all-sources average handle of $5,638,202. Los Alamitos had eight-race programs Thursday and Friday and nine-race programs Saturday and Sunday.

During the same week in 2013, Hollywood Park had average attendance of 4,921, an average ontrack handle of $1,081,467, and an all-sources average handle of $8,569,980. During that time, Hollywood Park ran nine races on its Thursday and Sunday programs, eight races on a Friday evening, and 10 races, including the Hollywood Gold Cup, on Saturday.

Los Alamitos averaged 7.41 starters in 34 races, all dirt, compared with 7.5 starters in 36 races, on turf and synthetic, at Hollywood Park. Los Alamitos does not have a turf course.

Hollywood Park closed last December. Los Alamitos has picked up five weeks of Thoroughbred dates in July and December previously held by Hollywood Park.

Brad McKinzie, the general manager of the Los Alamitos Thoroughbred operation, said it is difficult to make valid comparisons between the two tracks. Los Alamitos has not hosted a Thoroughbred meeting since the 1991 Orange County Fair.

“We didn’t have anything to compare it to,” he said. “We have to run a meeting, run our numbers, and make relative estimates on how those numbers are, and see how we fit into the schedule. We’re not going to put up Santa Anita and Del Mar numbers.”

McKinzie said purses for the eight-day meeting, which ends Sunday, are likely to be overpaid, meaning the purse pool will carry forward a deficit.

He said the decision to put $500,000 into the purse of the Los Alamitos Derby last Saturday was necessary to build awareness of the brief meeting with offtrack bettors across the nation. The race was won by Shared Belief, the champion 2-year-old male of 2013.

“You have to have something to draw them to your signal,” he said. “A $200,000 race doesn’t move the needle. We needed a prominent horse. We’re hoping to get some residual attention out of that.”

Greg Michaels More than 1 year ago
Who is going to get involved in a 8 day meet? No one. The per cap was $118 for the first week. Just like a fair meet, without the fair.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
make it honest and they will come....otherwise slow death...that goes for other tracks as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How much of handle got paid back to bettors? Answer: $834,045.00
Whoopers Cat More than 1 year ago
I have posted many times that this has failure written all over it. Purses will get cut because the handle is not going to support these levels and things will only get worse from there. This track has been poorly run for decades and people know it. The same people have been running this track track for decades. They have no clue.
John More than 1 year ago
I concure RUNNING DOG, I just couldnt get a handle on the horses, the speed didnt seem to carry uless they took back a length or two, and then it seemed the jockeys all had tring horses the last 1/8th of a mile, very few if any flying finishes. I loved a horse opening day, there seemed to be speed , speed and more speed, so I jumped all over Tis a Minister, ah, 8 horse field, the 7th horse beat me by 34 LENGTHS. So, I backed off on Saturday, played small till I could get a handle on any bias or works or ?....................went to the cleaners again ! Hurry up Del Mar, I can make up better excuses when I lose down there ! DONT BUY THE DIGEST, if you uses the workouts , they are not clocking for 3 weeks , on vacation !
. More than 1 year ago
Leave Ed alone.
Whoopers Cat More than 1 year ago
Old Ed going to loose a pant load on this venture :(
. More than 1 year ago
I'm still on the fence. I have yet to figure out the bias there. I downloaded two days of forms, but only played one day. Was not feeling it. Also I did not like how the Horses took to the track. I'll wait for the fall.
RunningDog More than 1 year ago
I went opening day, I found the employees to be friendly and sincerely happy to have the people there. Bartenders in the Vessels Club were super nice along with many others. I didnt see the complaints below. But track needs a more vibrant announcer, Ed is super at the Q's and even the thouroughbreds at that meet, but it doesnt transfer over well at all. Feel a little bad for Ed, because he has been loyal to Los Al, but it cant go on as is. When you say a 10,000 claimer horrifed them you are trying way too hard. Need a better video board obviously. Turf course would be a pipe dream at this stage, I am not even sure they know if racing will make it there. Getting field size 10 days before Del Mar is going to be brutal for any track, and that impacts handle. I would say what would help is make a 1500 starter bonus like they had at Monmouth. Just make sure the vet is not allowing in at risk horses to get the 1500. I am sure that would add field size, other than doing that I dont know how you get owners to run right before Del Mar. Hope they make it, 6 months a Santa Anita was at least 6 to 8 weeks too long.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
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Art Brown More than 1 year ago
George you are an idiot. To use your opinion would be equal to what George Bush did in starting 2 wars and having over 7thousand of our precious soldiers killed. You are a dope.
John More than 1 year ago
First of all, all the complaints may be warranted ,but Los Al wasnt given much time to get ready, plus they had to do everything with the quarter horses running at night, so lets give this first go round a "get a feel and fix it "......................... As for the track, they need to take the winter and re-align it, the back side is too much of a egg oval, 1st turn to mid back side, lets get a straight oval that doesnt cut the inside slots off on short races. Plus, the only way to improve the quality of the fields is get a grass course installed. The lakes are beautiful, but the quality of horses needs to be up-graded, turf racing will help ! Ed is great for the quarters, but isnt a fit for the TB's Plus I saw some of the rudest treatment of customers going into general admission by the guy at the Vessels Club admission window ! Rude, abussive and someone needs to can that clown or move him out of customer service ! IMMEDIATLY ! Bring Vic in for the TB's