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Los Alamitos 2006 Meet Recap


December 20, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Los Alamitos ended its 56th racing season on Sunday, December 17, posting a record average single night handle of $1,311,840 for the 201-night meet. The figure represents a 2.38 percent increase from last year while breaking the previous record average of $1,281,868 set in 2004.

The 2006 meeting also set a total handle record of $263,679,845, which is $3.5 million more in handle in two less racing nights than in the previous record year of 2004. The 57th pari-mutuel meeting at Los Alamitos will open on Thursday, December 28. First post is 7:15 p.m.

The track's handle from telephone wagering providers such as TVG, Youbet and America Tab increased 16 percent. Over the past three years, the track's average single night handle through telephone wagering has gone from $110,668 to more than $271,000 per racing night.

With the Los Alamitos signal now available in Nevada, the out-of-state handles increased by 10.5%. Las Vegas casinos bet an average of $33,000 per night on the Los Alamitos racing program. The average on-track handle of $229,226 was down 4.38%, while the in-state satellites handle was down an estimated 4.8%. The exact figure was not available at this time. On-track attendance was down by 4.8%.

The Pick Four continues to be most popular wager at Los Alamitos, as the pool now regularly exceeds $90,000 while often topping the $100,000 mark.

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The 2006 meet featured some of the track's most successful racing nights ever. On Friday, December 8, Los Alamitos hosted California's richest race since the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships were held at Santa Anita in 2003 when 10 juvenile sprinters competed in the $2 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity for Quarter Horses. The all-source handle for the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity program was an event record $2,061,758. The figure was a meet-high number and also the track's 11th highest single night handle of all-time.

The following night, Los Alamitos hosted the $600,000 Champion of Champions, which featured an all-source handle of $1,933,521 - a Champion of Champions program. The combined handle of $3,995,279 for the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and Champion of Champions programs was a record figure for back-to-back nights at Los Alamitos. Los Alamitos enjoyed one other $2 million night when 15-trials to the Ed Burke Million Futurity resulted in an all-source handle of $2,059,929 on June 10.

Los Alamitos hosted three races with purses of $1 million or more in the form of the Ed Burke Million, Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Trained by 23-year-old Joe Bassett, Blues Girl Too won the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Wave Carver won the 35th running of the Champion of Champions, duplicating his older brother Ocean Runaway's victory in this race last year. Wave Carver also won the nation's richest Quarter Horse Derby, the $700,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby on the way to becoming one of the season's top stars.

Wave Carver was voted the Los Alamitos Horse of the Meet and 3-Year-Old of the Meet, while Blues Girl Too was voted the 2-Year-Old of the Meet. In the older horse ranks, former $16,000 claimer Apollitical Time, a four-year-old mare, was voted the Aged Horse of the Meet. Olympic Moment was selected as the Thoroughbred Horse of the Meet after running second against Quarter Horses in the Marathon Handicap. Shez Showing Off was the top Paint Horse while Kusu Man was the top Arabian.

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EG High Desert Farms won 50 Quarter Horse races this year to become the top Quarter Horse owner. Ed Allred finished second with 36 wins and Dutch Masters III third with 31 wins. Darley Stable was the leading Arabian owner with 24 wins. David Cook was the leading Thoroughbred owner after winning 19 races from 82 starts. Cook ended Grand Slam Racing Stables' two-year stranglehold as the leading Thoroughbred owner.

Trainer Paul Jones enjoyed 194 Quarter Horse wins to secure his ninth straight local training title. Adan Farias made a big move up in the standings, finishing second after winning 137 races this year. Farias won 78 races last year. Jaime Gomez was third with 84 wins.

Rodrigo Aceves won his first Quarter Horse riding title at Los Alamitos with 186 wins. Cody Jensen, who won the title last year, finished second this year with 150 wins. J.R. Ramirez was third with 134.

Billy Lewis won his eighth Arabian training title after saddling 45 winners. Dean Frey was second with 20 wins. Joy Scott picked up her third consecutive riding title after winning 38 Arabian races. She also won 38 races last year. Agapito Delgadillo, who is enjoying a strong meeting at Hollywood Park, finished second in the local Arabian standings with 19 wins.

Ramon Guce, who missed most of the 2005 season with a back injury, enjoyed a sensational second half of the year en route to winning the Thoroughbred riding title with 69 wins. This was Guce's third Thoroughbred title. Guillermo Gutierrez, the breed's leading rider in 2004, finished second with 65 wins.

Trainer Charles Treece set a new single season record for Thoroughbred with 67 wins. Treece has won the title in nine of 12 years Thoroughbreds have raced as part of the Quarter Horse racing program at Los Alamitos.

Among the upcoming highlights for 2007 will be the Champion of Champions now featuring a guaranteed $1 million purse, making it the sport's only race for older horses with a seven-figure purse. This gives Los Alamitos a national record of four races worth over a $1 million dollars.

The track will also host a claiming stakes series that will culminate with six claiming finals with combined purses of $190,000 on April 6-7, 2007. The track is also the home of the Los Alamitos Equine Sale, California's top Quarter Horse yearling sale. Masters Call, a colt by noted Thoroughbred sire Hennessy, was the $485,000 sale topper in 2006. He has already been syndicated for stallion purposes.