06/10/2014 1:35PM

Los Alamitos improvements nearing completion ahead of July meet


Los Alamitos has expanded its track from five furlongs to one mile.

Capital improvements continue at Los Alamitos in advance of the track’s July Thoroughbred meeting.

On the front side, the walking ring has been expanded about 100 feet into the track apron to accommodate a remodeled winner’s circle and to allow more people, and horses, into the area when horses are being paraded before a race. The new winner’s circle will have two tiers to allow more participation in winner’s circle photos.

In addition, the grandstand area adjacent to the Vessels Club restaurant on the second floor has been remodeled with a standing viewing area that will offer an excellent vantage point of the Thoroughbred track that was expanded from five furlongs to a mile last winter.

Other improvements on the front side include an upgrade of the television system to high-definition, and a remodeling of bathrooms in the grandstand.

On the backstretch, the construction of two barns is nearly complete on property that was previously used as a maintenance yard for tractors and water trucks. The receiving barn has been demolished to provide space for additional barns, with the receiving barn relocated to another area of the stables.

The new barns will increase permanent capacity for Thoroughbreds from the current level of 500 to 700, according to Brad McKinzie, who directs the track’s Thoroughbred operation. Another 150 horses will be housed in portable stalls that will be constructed closer to the start of the race meeting, McKinzie said.

The July meeting will have eight days of racing on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis.