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L.A. County Fair thoroughbred meet might be making its final September run

LOS ALAMITOS, CALIF. - JUNE 29, 2019. Horses and jockeys charge out of the starting gate during the
Horses charge out of the starting gate during a June thoroughbred race at the Los Alamitos Race Course. Racing during the Los Angeles County Fair opens at the track on Friday.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County Fair thoroughbred meet, an end-of-summer/start-of-fall staple since the 1930s, might be making its final run during September when Los Alamitos opens with the first of its 10 days of racing on Friday.

In an attempt to cut the number of racing days in Southern California, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, Santa Anita and Del Mar proposed to take dates from Los Alamitos. The race days at Los Alamitos that couldn’t be eliminated belong to the fair. So, it was proposed that next year the fair meeting be held for one week, from July 4-7, and the second and third weeks between Dec. 5-15.

“Historically for over 70 years, [the L.A. County Fair] have had racing dates in September,” said Ed Allred, chairman and owner of Los Alamitos at last month’s meeting of the California Horse Racing Board. “[It’s] three weeks. I’ve been going there since I was a little boy. There is a culture of people who come to fair meets from Northern California and the fairs there and from Arizona. It’s been that way for a very long time, and it’s difficult to disrupt that and have a successful meet.”

The proposal is scheduled for consideration at the next horse racing board meeting on Sept. 19.

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The first two weeks of this Los Alamitos meeting will be Friday through Sunday. The final week will be Thursday through Sunday.

There will be five stakes races, starting on Saturday with the $75,000 Beverly J. Lewis Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs. Later on the card will be the $75,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes for Cal-breds, going a mile.

The second weekend will have the $75,000 Phone Chatter Stakes for 2-year-old fillies going 6 ½ furlongs on Saturday. The next day, will be the $100,000 Los Alamitos Special for horses going 1 ¼ miles.

The final weekend has the $75,000 Capote Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings going 6 ½ furlongs on Sept 21.

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The track will also have a new thoroughbred race caller in Chris Griffin, who replaces Bobby Neuman. Griffin currently calls at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas and has called several fair meetings in California. Post time each day is 1 p.m.


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