03/30/2010 11:00PM

Los Alamitos maintaining three-day week


Los Alamitos will continue with a three-day racing week through April and possibly longer, track officials said Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Los Alamitos eliminated Thursday racing because of a shortage of race-ready horses, going to a Friday through Sunday format. At the time, track officials indicated that Thursday racing would resume in April, when 2-year-olds began competing.

The first race for 2-year-olds is Friday, but the track is staying with a three-day calendar. Part of the reason for a three-day week is to stay in alignment with the Thoroughbred racing schedule in Southern California during the upcoming Hollywood Park meeting that begins April 21. Hollywood Park will offer racing four days a week for the first two weeks of its spring-summer meeting, racing on Wednesdays, taking off Thursdays, and running Fridays through Sundays.

Los Alamitos has not set a date for the resumption of four-day racing weeks, but one possibility is early May, when more 2-year-olds become ready to start.

Champion of Champions qualifiers

The track announced Wednesday that the automatic berths to the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 11 will be offered to the winners of the same 10 major stakes as in 2009.

Six such races are at Los Alamitos, and one has been run, the Winter Championship, won by 2009 Champion of Champions winner Freaky on Feb. 20. The others are the Vessels Maturity on June 18, the Mildred Vessels Handicap for fillies and mares on Sept. 18, the Los Alamitos Championship on Oct. 16, the Los Alamitos Super Derby on Nov. 6, and the winner of a qualifying trial on Nov. 19.

The four races away from Los Alamitos are the $250,000 Remington Park Championship in Oklahoma on May 29, the All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs in September, and two races in the fall, the Refrigerator Handicap at Lone Star Park and Challenge Championship at Fair Grounds.

If one of the winners of those races declines a berth, the winner of the Go Man Go Handicap at Los Alamitos on Sept. 10 earns a spot.

Aceves out with broken foot

Jockey Rodrigo Aceves, who has led the Quarter Horse standings at Los Alamitos for the last four years, suffered a broken foot before a division of the El Primero Del Ano Derby trials on March 19 and will miss two or three months.

Aceves injured the foot when Headturner, winner of the Los Alamitos Winter Derby earlier this year, broke through the gate before the trial. Despite the injury, Aceves rode Headturner to a win in the trials.