Los Al Thoroughbred Festival Starts July 3

Los Al Thoroughbred Festival Starts July 3
Photo: Courtesy Los Alamitos
The eight-day Summer Thoroughbred Festival at Los Alamitos Race Course starts Thursday, July 3, marking the first meet for Thoroughbreds at the Cypress, Calif. track since the final Orange County Fair in 1991.
 
Racing will be conducted on a Thursday-Sunday basis with seven stakes worth $1.15 million scheduled before the season ends Sunday, July 13. TVG will present live, on-site HD television coverage of the meet.
 
HRTV will provide live, on-site coverage, with Kurt Hoover trackside daily. Addtionally, HRTV's Michelle Yu will serve as Los Alamitos' simulcast host.
 
Anchoring the stakes schedule is the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II), formerly known as the Swaps Stakes when run at Hollywood Park (1974-2013). The race is the richest event on the calendar and the purse is $350,000 higher than it was when the Swaps was run for the final time last July 4 at the now-shuttered Inglewood, Calif. track.
 
The Derby is the beginning of the $1 million Bolton Challenge bonus. The winner of the Derby would collect the seven-figure prize with subsequent victories in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 24 at Del Mar and the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
 
Sponsors of the Challenge are the Los Alamitos Racing Association and the California-based insurance brokerage firm Bolton & Co.
 
The Festival will offer one other grade II race—the $200,000 Great Lady M. Stakes—to be run Saturday, July 12.
 
Called the Sequoia Handicap (1941-1978) and then the A Gleam Handicap (1979-2013) at Hollywood Park, the Great Lady M. is for older fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs.
 
Construction to lengthen the track to one mile with a stretch measuring 1,380 feet was completed in January. The stretch is the longest of any racetrack in the United States.
 
Ahead of the Festival, recent upgrades in various areas of the grandstand were made, including the addition of high definition televisions.
 
First post time will be 2 p.m. PDT. Track gates as well as the Clubhouse and Vessels Club will open at 9:30 a.m.

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