03/26/2013 4:16PM

Los Alamitos withdraws offer to expand track for Thoroughbreds

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Los Alamitos withdrew an offer Tuesday to expand its racetrack to accommodate Thoroughbred racing and training beginning in 2014, citing disagreements with the California Thoroughbred Trainers over the proposed racetrack expansion and a desire to avoid a showdown with Fairplex Park on acquiring racing dates.

Brad McKinzie, a consultant with Los Alamitos, said Tuesday that track owner Ed Allred could resume discussions about an expansion, if Thoroughbred industry officials deem the Fairplex Park proposal unsatisfactory.

“Ed has said all along that we won’t be part of a beauty contest,” McKinzie said. “They should judge Fairplex Park on its merits – stabling, the racetrack, and what it will cost. If at that time, they want to talk to Los Alamitos, I’m sure Los Alamitos will have an open mind. At this time, we won’t get involved with industry infighting.”

Los Alamitos, in Cypress, Calif., and Fairplex Park, in Pomona, have submitted proposals to the industry in recent months to expand their properties to gain racing dates and host training as a replacement for Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif. Hollywood Park has committed to racing and training through December, but is not expected to be open in 2014. The track’s parent company has indicated a desire to develop the property for residential and commercial uses.

In the event Hollywood Park closes, Del Mar and Santa Anita are expected to request more racing dates, leaving approximately six to eight weeks of racing in early summer and in the fall for another venue.

Tuesday, McKinzie challenged safety concerns expressed earlier this month by the CTT regarding the expansion of the current five-eighths-mile track at Los Alamitos to a circumference of just less than a mile.

In a letter from the CTT to the Thoroughbred Owners of California, CTT officials said they were unhappy with the “tight turns” proposed at Los Alamitos.

“We’ve gone out of our way to make sure it’s as safe as possible,” McKinzie said.

The Los Alamitos proposal did not include plans for a turf course.

Fairplex Park has proposed an expansion of its current five-eighths-mile track to six furlongs and construction of a five-eighths-mile turf course on its infield.

CTT president Jim Cassidy reiterated Tuesday that his organization was not comfortable with the Los Alamitos track expansion.

“I’ve described the racetrack they designed as a cucumber,” he said.

“Obviously, they’re upset with our accounts, but I don’t think they were false.”

Eleno Carlin More than 1 year ago
Wouldn't go to Los Al for thoroughbred racing anyway. Quarters sharing a track with thoroughbreds its stupid to say the least. Nothing wrong with Los Al but 91 and 405 are Terrible to travel on not to mention the OC traffic (shopping cart traffic) not interested in showing up. Save Hollywood, race Santa Anita or expand Pomona I go there already anyway. By the way not too much crime in the immediate vicinity of fairplex. So for all the ppl scared to come to LA your exaggerating as usual. Industry shouldn't leave LA county.
dean More than 1 year ago
McKinzie is a bozo and Alred is an idiot. NO one wants to run there.
PeteG More than 1 year ago
I don't like DR. (sic) ALLRED,nor his "GOOD OLE BOY'S" club. Why do you think most good trainers and owners moved to TBs.Not for the money that's for sure.We all loved quarter horses and their speed,we just could not take his BS any more.
Nick Arden More than 1 year ago
A big fat no to an expanded Fairplex, a huge yes for additional dates at Santa Anita and a cautious yes for a few more weeks at Del Mar as long as they don't over-do it and ruin what is a hell of a meet. Obviously the best solution is for Hollywood to remain open.
Bob Rose More than 1 year ago
Gees...in my day we sought out race tracks in our quest to seek employment with the horses. We never even considered demanding that they moved a track closer to our homes so 'we' wouldn't have to commute to them! As a retired lifelong horseman, I can't believe that the current trainers even think they have the right to say where a track should be located. Btw, Del Mar experimented with an extended meet decades back, and it failed dismally.
Robert More than 1 year ago
A 6 furlong track with a 5/8 turf course......are you nuts????
Robert More than 1 year ago
A short meet at Golden Gate with high quality horses, jockeys, and trainers is the exact thing horse racing in this state needs. If you take that level up to GG for even a month each year it would pay dividends long term at building a greater fan base that never gets to see that quality of racing in Northern California. If trainers and jockeys don't like it tell them that they are in the racing business and that is just the way it goes. The caveat to all of this......Hollywood Park is still not officially closed.
Paul Aguirre More than 1 year ago
Racing in Pomona would not be good for horse racing. There's very little fan base and nobody (including the trainers) feel like fighting So Cal traffic an extra 1-2 hours daily. Orange County, on the other hand, has fabulous potential. Is there not anybody in racing with vision!
Eleno Carlin More than 1 year ago
Disagree buddy Pomona is a cash economy a bunch of hustlers every time I show up. I can see it working out. I like Los Al but not too sure I wanna make the trips. A straight shot from Santa Anita is all that's important. Everyone is moving east anyway so the problem on weekends and big dates is heading west. I don't think im wrong.
Israel Hernandez More than 1 year ago
Del Mar & Santa Anita ONLY!!!!! Sounds good to me.... Even though I'm in Nor Cal. Would love the Breeder's Cup to be help at Del Mar, Come Del Mar step it up. Lets get moving on the widening of that turf track. Fairplex can keep the fair dates.
noalaistoday More than 1 year ago
What would horse racing be like if all the entities played nice nice. Instead of knocking each other ....... will they ever learn to work together. I DOUBT it!!!!!!!!