Los Alamitos Race Course Expanding Schedule to Absorb Hollywood Park Closure

Enlarging both its physical presence as well as the type and number of thoroughbred horse racing events offered, the Los Alamitos Race Course will add a thoroughbred horse racing venue and events to compensate for the closure of the famous Hollywood Park Racetrack in December of 2013. As a legendary and important horse track fades into history, Los Alamitos Race Course officials hope that they can expand into future glory with an estimated $3 million upgrade. Brad McKinzie is a Los Alamitos spokesman for the ongoing expansion, and he stated in a recent press event that, "We'll be able to run the same races as they run at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park."

Los Alamitos is well known for its signature quarter horse races, but is currently known for relatively low stakes races when running thoroughbreds. However, this new expansion means that racecourse officials will be adding a full five weeks of high stakes thoroughbred horse races which will run from July to December of this year. Those races have already been approved by the California Horse Racing Board, with McKinzie pointing out that none of those races, or the racecourse expansion, would have been possible without the unfortunate closure and loss of the storied Hollywood Park venue.

A new track will have to be graded, as typical venues for quarter horse races can not easily be transitioned favorably to thoroughbred races. Los Alamitos will build an entirely new one-mile oval course which will act as a complement to the present 5/8 mile course, and work is scheduled to be finished by the end of January. Soon after applying for work permits which would allow the new construction, the necessary paperwork was quickly authorized by the city of Cypress to speed up construction. Hall of Fame thoroughbred trainer Richard Mandella expressed sincere gratitude that the Los Alamitos facility will become a possibility, especially now that Hollywood Park is closed.

Former Santa Anita Park and Hollywood Park marketing vice president Allen Gutterman was also excited, saying that, "It's (Los Alamitos Race Course) in a great location. It's very well-managed." The new thoroughbred course at Los Alamitos will add legal horse betting options for Southern California, and gives quick access to the track after a day at the beach. Perfectly poised to profit from Hollywood Park's closure, Los Alamitos is the only current track which has been approved to add thoroughbred races at this point. Both Del Mar and Santa Anita have also filed for approval for adding to their 2014 thoroughbred horse racing schedules, and are awaiting the go-ahead.

Legal horse betting online has made its way to California and US equestrian bettors in a more readily available and legitimate nature in the last few years, and is one of the concerns of physical horse racing venues which offer wagering opportunities. But as McKinzie pointed out, it is not as if legal horse betting has declined, it is just that the experience has been spread across more mediums now. Certainly there is nothing more exciting than a physical day at the races, but Internet access to important thoroughbred horse races being run at Los Alamitos and other tracks around the world is obviously attractive to individuals who cannot afford to or have the time to make a physical trip.

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