Los Alamitos Race Course Odds & News
Before there were Ducks and Angels in Anaheim and before there were Dodgers or Lakers in Los Angeles, there was Quarter Horse racing at Los Alamitos Race Course in Orange County.
What started out as informal match races on the Vessels Ranch property in 1947 has grown into year-round Quarter Horse racing at the North Orange County track. Instead of neighbor against neighbor match races, horses at Los Alamitos annually race for purses that total a national Quarter Horse record of over $20 million. The track was also the home to the Los Angeles County Fair ten day meet.
With the closure of Hollywood Park in December 2013, Los Alamitos gained Thoroughbred racing dates that formerly were run in Inglewood, Calif.
This Race Course expanded its dirt race course to one mile and the stable area to accommodate additional horses and the first Summer Thoroughbred Festival begins July 3. The summer meet highlights include the $500,000 Los Alamitos Derby (Grade 2) and the $200,000 Great Lady M (Grade 2).
The winter meet which fits between the fall Del Mar meet and the start of the Santa Anita meet features the Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade 2) formerly the Hollywood Futurity. Six winners of this race have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby and three have won the eclipse award as top two year old.
Los Alamitos Race Course is primarily known as the premier Quarter Horse track in the country and is the home to four races worth $1 million or more. The four races worth a million dollar races are the Ed Burke Million Futurity, Golden State Million Futurity, Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and the Los Alamitos Super Derby. Other major events include the California Breeders Champions Night held in July and the AQHA Bank of America Racing Challenge held during odd-numbered years.
The Ed Burke Million, Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million also make up the $1 million Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza, which serve as the track’s version of the Triple Crown. Any horse sweeping those three important futurities will earn an additional $1 million cash bonus.
Los Alamitos Race Course’s most famous race is the $750,000 Champion of Champions, which is regarded as Quarter Horse racing’s most prestigious race for older horses. The winner of the Champion of Champions is usually named the American Quarter Horse Racing Association’s World Champion.
Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas both started at Los Alamitos as quarter horse trainers before moving to the thoroughbreds where both have become Hall of Fame trainers. Baffert has also won 13 Los Alamitos Futurities in his career.