There is not much of a reason to visit the Los Angeles County Fair anymore…at least not for me anyway.
The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) has approved the move of the 2014 Fairplex Racing Dates to Los Alamitos Race Course in Orange County. The CHRB really did not have much of a choice, it’s no secret that Fairplex wants no part of live racing anymore and Los Alamitos is hungry for more thoroughbred racing dates.
It is difficult to force someone (Fairplex) to keep racing that clearly has no more interest in it, especially when they have partnered up with Los Alamitos, who has stepped up and poured millions of dollars renovating their race track.
Los Alamitos became somewhat of a hero when they provided much needed stall space for the area horses with the permanent closing of Hollywood Park in December 2013.
Fairplex will Simulcast its own Race Meeting
Fairplex Park (aka Pomona Fair) is not completely out of the racing business as it still operates the successful Finish Line Sports Bar which televises (and takes wagers on) horse racing across the country. So in a bit of a strange comedic twist, Fairplex will take simulcast wagering on its own race meet (since it still owns the rights to those race days). The races will just be run at Los Alamitos .
Local Horse Racing loses “Charm” with no Fairplex
Like I said earlier, you can’t make Fairplex continue to operate a horse racing meeting when they want out, but the fact remains that a certain charm will be lost with this move. Sure, Los Alamitos has upgraded its facilities and should provide higher purses (which will lead to better quality runners competing) but they are still just another race track.
I can safely say that Fairplex Park was responsible for introducing many people to the sport of horse racing that would have never stepped foot in a “regular” race track.
Fairplex officials cited that lagging interest was chiefly responsible for this decision, but they can take some responsibility for that with their poor marketing efforts in recent years (probably intentional).
So with that, I bid goodbye to the “Bullring” and a very fond farewell to all the bullshit “commercialized” exhibit buildings.