LA Fair racing could move to Orange County

Zenyatta with jockey Mike Smith aboard, wins the Grade I $250,000 Lady's Secret Stakes horse race, October 2, 2010, at Oak Tree at Hollywood Park, in Inglewood, California. Horse racing could move from Fairplex in Pomona to Los Alamitos, which has expanded their track in the last five months to accommodate the closure of Hollywood Park.
Zenyatta with jockey Mike Smith aboard, wins the Grade I $250,000 Lady's Secret Stakes horse race, October 2, 2010, at Oak Tree at Hollywood Park, in Inglewood, California. Horse racing could move from Fairplex in Pomona to Los Alamitos, which has expanded their track in the last five months to accommodate the closure of Hollywood Park. GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

For years, horse racing has been part of the fun at the LA County Fair every fall. Now, executives at Fairplex in Pomona want to move the meet to Los Alamitos in Orange County.

Bettors could still go to Fairplex for food, drink and to put money on the horses, but they’d watch the race on TV — just like any other off-track racing facility.

“It comes down to facilities,” said Steve Andersen, who writes for the Daily Racing Form. “Los Alamitos in the last five months has made a sizable investment, which continues to expand their racetrack from 5/8 of a mile out to one mile.”

They’re doing that to accommodate the closure of Hollywood Park, Andersen said. That racetrack shut down in December. Fairplex hasn’t made the same investment.

RELATED: Farewell Hollywood Park: A look back at the historic track in archival photos

Andersen said he doesn’t expect there to be more races per day, but there might be an “uptick” in the quality of the races.

“After Del Mar ends on Labor Day weekend, there is a tendency for a lot of leading horses to not run again until Santa Anita opens in late September because some owners and trainers prefer not to run their horses on that small race track at Fairplex park,” Andersen said.

“With the option of having a one-mile racetrack at Los Alamitos, some of the better horses might run on that dirt track; whereas, before, they did not. They had three weeks off.”

But before you put the horse before the carriage, there are still some regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome.

First, the change of racing venue needs to be approved by the California Horse Racing Board.

Second, state legislation needs to allow the Los Angeles County Fair race to be held outside of Los Angeles County.

“That might be more of a housekeeping bill, that would not necessarily lead to significant debate in either the Assembly or the Senate,” Andersen said.

Nuran Alteir contributed to this Web post.

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