Los Alamitos race course will open its annual Western Harness Racing Assn. meeting tonight with the $12,000 Filly and Mare Invitational.
Racing will be held nightly, except Sunday and Monday, through April 27, pending approval of the final five weeks of the proposed 15-week meeting. First post will be 7:45 p.m.
More than $3.5 million in purses will be offered during the meeting, highlighted by a pacer and trotter series beginning Jan. 25.
At a California Horse Racing Board meeting last week, Hollywood Park was given tentative permission to run 15 weeks of harness racing at Los Alamitos.
Previously, the WHRA winter harness meeting was divided between 10 weeks of racing at Los Alamitos and five weeks at Hollywood Park.
But Hollywood Park, which now owns Los Alamitos, said its newly remodeled Inglewood track is not suitable for harness racing. When Hollywood Park rebuilt its facilities last year, it altered the shape of its track from a mile to a mile and one-eighth.
Because the new track would require harness drivers to begin each race on a turn, Hollywood Park has asked the CHRB if its five-week harness meeting could be moved to Los Alamitos.