04/11/2014 2:20PM

Los Alamitos set to begin improvement projects


Los Alamitos is launching capital improvements to its grandstand and expanding stalls for Thoroughbreds in advance of its Thoroughbred meeting in July.

Brad McKinzie, the general manager of the track’s Thoroughbred operation, said Thursday that Los Alamitos has received approval from the city of Cypress to begin the projects, which are expected to be completed in June.

The track’s Thoroughbred meeting runs from July 3-13. A three-week Thoroughbred meeting will be held in December. The seasons are part of racing dates previously held by Hollywood Park, which closed last December.

Construction of 200 stalls for Thoroughbreds will begin on property previously used as a maintenance yard for tractors and other heavy equipment. The receiving barn also will be remodeled. The new stalls will increase capacity for Thoroughbreds to 700. McKinzie said an additional 200 temporary stalls could be used closer to the July race meeting, bringing barn-area capacity for Thoroughbreds to 900 stalls.

Approximately 500 Thoroughbreds who race at Santa Anita have been based at Los Alamitos since late January, when Hollywood Park closed its stable area.

In the grandstand and clubhouse, improvements will include a refurbishment of bathrooms, an upgrading of kitchen equipment in the clubhouse, an extension of the patio of the Vessels Club to incorporate more terraced seating in the lower grandstand, development of a grandstand sports bar, and development of the infield to accommodate customers during the Thoroughbred meetings.

“We’re starting a lot of projects,” McKinzie said.

The track’s July meeting is highlighted by the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby over 1 1/8 miles, a race that was formerly known as the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park.