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Orange County Action

Posted by on 6/18/2014 10:55:29 PM

A short and sweet little meet will be taking place at Los Alamitos Race Course starting July 3 and ending July 13. This track will also debut its new one-mile oval and online sports betting site players will be challenged to adjust quickly and accurately.

Before there were Ducks or Angels in Anaheim and before there were Lakers or Dodgers in Los Angeles, Los Alamitos was conducting racing.

Frank Vessels Sr. came to California in 1920 from Kentucky with only $19 in his pocket but he founded Los Alamitos after his successful construction business allowed him to build a racetrack on a portion of his 435-acre Orange County ranch.

Successful Southern California trainer like Marty Jones, Mike Puype, Mike Harrington and California Chrome’s mentor Art Sherman have been stabled at Los Al for a while now and California Chrome’s trainer loves this surface.

Sherman : “The track surface at Los Alamitos is as good a racetrack as you will find anywhere in the country. It’s a wide big track and it will be beautiful to race on.

Bob Baffert is also on board, Baffert: “I think it’s a plus, that surface. It’s really soft. I send a lot of horses (to train at Los Alamitos). It’s a big plus.”

Don’t look for CC to be running during this meet as he is getting a well-deserved rest.

The 8-days of racing will feature the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby and the $200,000 Great Lady M.

The new track boasts a 1,380 homestretch, 34 feet longer than the homestretch at Fair Grounds. There have been cosmetic improvements too. The walking ring has been expanded and the winner’s circle has been remodeled. New barns have been constructed to so the capacity of the backstretch will increase from the 700 horses that can now be accommodated.

One of the most misunderstood and important jobs on the racetrack is the starter. He is the man that pushes the button that allows the gates to open, the horses to run and the races to be brought to the public.

And Los Alamitos will have a new starter for the night races and it would be logical that after this summer meet, he will be the main man for the thoroughbreds in the future.

Former rider Gary Brinson, who was the head starter at Del Mar and Hollywood Park, has won in gate crews for 4 decades. One of the things Brinson has done, and others have followed, is to get to the ground to prepare the starters for a race. In years past, starters would stand on perch near the gate to have an overview of the loading process but being on the ground helps with communication.

Brinson will be in the background but he has a wealth of experience. He used to walk hots for his late father Ross and his dad won the Hollywood Gold Cup in 1947 with Cover Up.

When this meet starts in July, online sports betting site players should give a major edge to the runners that have been stabled at Los Alamitos. Just like when all meets change, runners that are acclimated to their current surroundings are more comfortable and usually run better.

And expect speed to be the prime force as soon as the gates open.



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