01/31/2013 8:43PM

Los Alamitos officials to meet with municipal leaders on expansion proposal


Los Alamitos officials plan to meet with the city of Cypress, Calif., in coming days to present a design and expansion proposal for the Orange County racetrack, which could be remodeled to accommodate Thoroughbred racing as early as 2014, according to a track consultant.

Los Alamitos has proposed expanding its current five-eighths-mile dirt track to a circumference of just less than a mile and adding approximately 1,000 stalls on vacant land adjacent to its existing backstretch to accommodate Thoroughbred racing and training.

“We’re moving forward with a feasibility study with the city,” Los Alamitos consultant Brad McKinzie said Thursday.

Los Alamitos Race Course is based in Cypress, Calif. The city of Los Alamitos is directly south of the racetrack.

In recent months, Los Alamitos executives have met with Thoroughbred horsemen and officials with other tracks to discuss expansion plans. Los Alamitos is considered the leading option to eventually replace Betfair Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., as a second Thoroughbred venue in the Los Angeles area.

Hollywood Park officials told the California Horse Racing Board in January that the track will race through 2013, but did not commit to hosting Thoroughbred racing beyond December. Bay Meadows Land Co., which owns Hollywood Park, has stated a desire to tear down the racetrack and use the property for commercial and residential development.

Currently, Los Alamitos hosts a nationally prominent year-round Quarter Horse meeting. If the expansion goes through, Los Alamitos is expected to request two three-week meetings, one in early summer and one in the fall, to replace Hollywood Park’s current dates. Santa Anita is expected to gain considerably more racing dates each spring and fall.

Los Alamitos would need approximately 12 months to construct new stables, but could have the expansion of its racetrack completed by the end of 2013, McKinzie said.

Los Alamitos is privately owned by Dr. Ed Allred, a prominent Quarter Horse owner and breeder.

Aside from discussions with the city, McKinzie said the expansion is contingent “If Los Alamitos receives industry support.”

“Things seem to be moving forward,” McKinzie said. “Ed and various Thoroughbred factions have had some meetings, and Ed seems to be moving forward.”

Courthouseguy1999 More than 1 year ago
I can't possibly know all the constituents who need to sign off on any expansion plans, but I did a Google search of "Los Alamitos Expansion Plans" and there are entries going back to 2005 (if not earlier; I only looked at the first two pages of entries). It's amazing how long this whole process has taken - it's been an ongoing rumor about Hollywood Park eventually closing for several years, and it's well known what Bay Meadows Land Co.'s intentions are (it's sad to see - for 4+ years now - the wide open lot where Bay Meadows Race Track used to be), so c'mon So. Cal racing industry - make it happen already, whatever it is. Hollywood's days are most certainly numbered, even more so as the economy gradually recovers. In short: WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG?! Does Hollywood finally have to run its last race before you kick things into high gear? The clock is ticking!!!
Laura More than 1 year ago
Shouldn't we consider broadening our horizon? Not that Los Alamito's expansion is a bad idea. BUT, why aren't we looking at ALL of our options? For example, San Luis Rey Downs is a beautiful facility that was designed for racing. It already has a 1 mile dirt track and has room for a turf course. San Diego is a race loving community and would welcome another venue.
John More than 1 year ago
FREE PARKING and $1 to get into early bird, then its $3 after that ! Shuuussssssssssssssssssssss dont tell the CHRB, they will want to charge for parking, raise the entry fee and of course, raise the take out and serve rubber $6 hot dogs !
John More than 1 year ago
For anyone who hasnt been to Los Al, its a gem ! EASY access from the surrounding freeways, beautiful neighborhoods, and a very safe and inviting city for dining and shopping . The city is clean, and the police department keeps a very safe city . This would be a win win for California racing, although, better hurry up Doc Allred before the CHRB gets involved, they will raise the take out and force you to serve rubber hot dogs for $6 !
Jerry Atkinson More than 1 year ago
cal should split dates between sa, del mar and golden gate. only have one running at a time.might get more full fields
dean More than 1 year ago
None of this will ever happen. TB trainers and owners will never go for this. No room for a turf course means this plan is dead on arrival. When HP closes the dates will go to SA for 8 1/2 months and Del Mar will get the summer dates of about 10-12 weeks. Fairplex has a much better chance of getting a few more dates if they want it. They have more room for expansion.
Bill Hubbell More than 1 year ago
The second venue in the Los Angeles area should be....the first venue, Santa Anita!
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
Orange County is a lucrative market.and you don't have to worry about getting robbed of your big score like the pick six winner at Hollywood who got murdered afew years back
Mark Garcia More than 1 year ago
If the plan is to add about a 7.5 furlong dirt oval, that does not leave much room for a inner turf course. A 3 turn turf mile just doesn't make sense either. Although, turf sprint races would probably work just fine with such a layout.
David Rose More than 1 year ago
It's a proposed one mile dirt oval, but there is no turf course in the plans!
John Piassek More than 1 year ago
Why, exactly, is there no grass course for the new Los Alamitos? Makes no sense.
Steve More than 1 year ago
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
NorCal has done it for years during the fair circuit.they would stack up turf races the last week of del mar or Santa Anita it's only 3 week meets .if it works ,add a turf course down the road like Santa Rosa did.
dean More than 1 year ago
They have no room. This plan goes nowhere.
John More than 1 year ago
Hey John, the plan last time round in 2011, involved a grass course. There is plenty of room they just have to move some things around. The parking area in front and the east end is huge, moving out the grandstands will give them plenty of space ! I think this story is just a little bit short of details. They had posted the last plans at Los Al, it did involve a grass inner track . Los Al used to run a FAIR meet for thoroughbreds, its was a great meet, packed every single night !
dean More than 1 year ago
Won't happen. They wont spend the money needed to do the things you suggested for 6 weeks of racing.
Joel Ittner More than 1 year ago
The site was always the best viable alternative- however, it appears to be replacing a trusted venue with a fair circuit. 3 weeks? No turf? ?Do it right, or don"t do it at all... additionally, what about the chrb mandate regarding synthetics? anywho - begin the project and provide jobs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Santa Anita, is Dirt so is Los AL....... We should get a Turf for Los Al.
Brian Duntugan More than 1 year ago
A one mile dirt track at Los Al would work well if it can only race two three week meets, one during early summer and the other during fall.