California Tracks Trim Live Racing Schedules

Two California racetracks have announced cutbacks in their live racing schedules.

Two California racetracks have announced cutbacks in their live racing schedules effective the week of Jan. 25.

Los Alamitos, which offers Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, and Arabian racing, said in a release it is dropping Thursday night racing “temporarily” through April, when 2-year-old racing begins. Racing will be held on a Friday-Saturday schedule for at least the next two months.

Meanwhile, Cal Expo, the only harness track in California, is cutting back to three days a week as well. The Sacramento track was scheduled to drop Sunday racing and add Wednesday racing Jan. 27, but will only race Thursday through Saturday nights.

Cal Expo in a release said racing “has fallen victim to a national trend” evident around the country.

“With the cancellation of Thursdays by Los Alamitos, our current (purse) overpayment, and the concern of fewer available racehorses which lowers our per race average field size, we regrettably had to reduce the weekly schedule earlier than anticipated,” Cal Expo director of racing Dave Elliott said in a statement. “We remain hopeful that our field size average and hence the interest and handle in our program will turn around during these difficult economic times.”

Thoroughbred tracks in California earlier trimmed their schedules; for instance, Golden Gate Fields is currently racing four days a week instead of the usual five through mid-March.