Los Alamitos Race Course is embarking on a series of improvements designed to help the Cypress, Calif., racetrack play a more major role in the Southern California Thoroughbred picture.
Plans for the construction of additional stalls and frontside improvements are under way, said Brad McKinzie, the general manager of the Los Alamitos Thoroughbred meetings.
"We're moving forward with a lot of the improvements right now," said McKinzie. "We're on the agenda of the City of Cypress's meeting of May 12 to construct the new barns."
The barns, which Los Alamitos management hopes to have in place by mid-June, would add 200 stalls to the 500 already in use for year-round Thoroughbred training. McKinzie said that Los Alamitos would also have a temporary ship-in facility of about 60 stalls for use during the race meetings.
Frontside improvement plans include expansion of the Vessels Club, addition of an upscale bar, a viewing terrace, and boxes, and enlarging the walking ring.
Los Alamitos conducts year-round nighttime Quarter Horse races. Upon the closure of Betfair Hollywood Park last year, Los Alamitos enlarged its five-furlong track to 25 yards short of a mile and opened the stabling area year-round for Thoroughbreds. California Chrome, the current favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), is among the Thoroughbreds training at Los Alamitos.
The California Horse Racing Board has approved two new Thoroughbred meetings at Los Alamitos for 2014--July 3-13 and Dec. 4-21. The Sept. 4-23 Barretts (formerly Fairplex) dates would require CHRB approval in order to be moved from Fairplex in Pomona, Calif., to Los Alamitos.
Los Alamitos has already announced nomination dates for the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II, formerly the Swaps Stakes) July 5, the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I, formerly the CashCall Futurity) Dec. 20, and the $350,000 Starlet (gr. I, formerly the Hollywood Starlet) Dec. 13.