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Los Alamitos enters the Thoroughbred Big Leagues

Los Alamitos Race Course begins an 8 day “quality” thoroughbred meet today. The track has been lengthened to a mile and boasts the longest stretch in the nation. Here are a few media write ups on the opening of the new and improved Los Alamitos. Click each photo for the full story.

OC Register on Los Alamitos

Orange County Register, Click Photo for Los Alamitos Story




La Daily News-Los Alamitos

LA Daily News, Click Photo for Story


Daily Racing Form on Los Alamitos opening 2014

Daily Racing Form , Click Photo for Story


Published: July 3, 2014

Say Goodbye to Pomona Fair Racing

los angeles county fair concession stand

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. 

Manny Marquez


Published: June 27, 2014

No Crown for California Chrome…Tweak is Needed

belmont stakes 2014

California Chrome’s attempt at winning the elusive Triple Crown is now history.Unfortunately, the rags to riches story does not have a story-book ending. 

There are many opinions on why he fell short, I believe he was just a tired horse. But there is another issue that came from California Chrome’s defeat and it has to do with the Triple Crown races themselves. Now on to the debate.

Why the Triple Crown Series Needs Tweaking

When California Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn went on his post-race televised rant about the unfairness of owners cherry-picking Triple Crown races with their horses, it ignited a barrage of assaults by writers and horse industry people calling him classless and a sore loser. Certainly, it was not Mr. Coburn’s finest moment. Coburn offered an apology a couple of days later.

On this issue of tweaking the Triple Crown races, I do believe that there should be at least one change considered.

The change that I believe needs to be made is the lengthening of the time between races and here is the main reason why. Very few trainers run their stakes caliber horses back in 2 weeks or subject them to 3 tough races in a span of 5 weeks.

This does not even happen with seasoned older stakes runners, much less newly turned 3 year olds.

I heard one proposal being kicked around, and I think this may solve the problem. The proposal was this; simply have the Kentucky Derby run the first Saturday in May (as always), the Preakness on the first Saturday in June, and finish with the Belmont on the first Saturday in July.

Here are a few reasons on why this would work;

  • It gives the horses ample time to recover from their previous effort.
  • The spacing is more in tune with what trainers use leading up to the Derby itself.
  • There is more time to hype the sport if a horse wins the first 2 legs and is going for the Triple Crown.
  • The extra time may allow more talented 3 year olds who were “not ready” for the Derby to take part in the Preakness and/or Belmont.

This would not “taint” the Triple Crown. It would still be very difficult to win. But you would be doing what is best for these young horses,who are running distances that they have never ran before, and carrying weight that most of them will probably never carry again.

But Traditionalists Say “Leave the Triple Crown Alone”

I understand that tradition is important, but I also know that you have to change with the times. What I do find funny about the argument for leaving the Triple Crown alone is that the only thing ever said is “It’s supposed to be hard to win”. No other valid argument, just that.

Well what if you keep it hard to win but do right by these young colts, while leveling out the playing field just a bit. Whats wrong with that?

Moving on, here are a few stories written after the Belmont Stakes that I found interesting enough to give my take on them. My thoughts are right below each.

Andy Beyer thinks Espinoza’s ride cost him the Crown  Story

C’mon Andy don’t be a douche-bag. The ride was not all that bad. If Victor takes him to the front and is forced to go too fast then everyone would have said he “burned him up”. It was not Victor’s best ride for sure, but when everyone is gunning for you, having a good trip is not going to be easy. For the record, I enjoy most of Andy’s articles.

This writer thinks Steve Coburn makes a good point  Story

I do not agree that horses should be banned from the final 2 legs of the Triple Crown races because they did not run in the Derby.

Writer thinks it is comical for media to bash Steve Coburn now  Story

This writer makes a good point on how California Chrome’s owner was fine with the media when he was outspoken earlier, now you want him to shut up because you did not like what he has to say? He also touches on the flawed system of the Triple Crown Series.

 This hack tricks readers with his headline  Story

I will save you the time reading this.The headline gives the impression that the Triple Crown should be tweaked,only for him to say that it should not be tweaked at all.

Jackass Bob Neumeier calls Steve Coburn a “clown”  Story

NBC “Analyst” Bob Neumeier said Steve Coburn is “horrible” for racing and calls him a clown. Nice Bob! That is a show of class.

Another writer who agrees with Steve Coburn, USA Today no less. Story

There are some points to be made here, nice graphic in article.

The Article I Enjoyed the Most  Story

Well written story here by this writer, great job!.

Final thought;

California Chrome and his entourage made for a very interesting Triple Crown. It was a helluva story. 


 ♦Manny Marquez


P.S.  There was a point made that made some sense as to why even non-horse-players show an interest in this sport during this time of the year. The point was made that the allure of something so difficult to attain (Triple Crown) is what makes people interested.

But could making it too difficult to attain be the reason people lose interest one day. It’s a good argument that will go on until we see another Triple Crown Winner.


Published: June 10, 2014