Despite some small fields compared to Santa Anita, and hot weather, Los Alamitos finished its 12-day summer meeting Sunday with a gain in average all-sources handle over the 2017 meet, the track announced.
As explained by the Daily Racing Form, comparisons with 2017 are difficult because last July, the track ran a two-week meeting that did not include the Fourth of July. This year, the track held a three-week meeting that included a Fourth of July program. The eight-race July 6 program was stopped after two races because of excessive heat.
Los Alamitos is still tabulating precise handle and attendance data, but said there was a slight increase in the all-important figure of average field size, from 6.82 runners in July 2017 to 6.9 this year.
Track vice-president Jack Liebau said in a statement, “In hindsight, I wish we could have been able to fill some of the higher-quality races, but a lot of small owners and trainers got the opportunity to successfully run horses here that they might not have otherwise.”
Los Alamitos lacks a turf course and cannot card turf races that tend to draw larger fields than dirt races.
The 18-year-old apprentice jockeys Asa Espinoza and Heriberto Figueroa finished in a tie for first in the jockey standings with 18 wins.
Bob Baffert led all trainers with five wins, one ahead of Steve Miyadi.
Los Alamitos will run the 12-day Los Angeles County Fair meeting for thoroughbreds from Sept. 6-23 and a two-week autumn meeting in December. Del Mar, near San Diego, begins its summer meeting today (Wednesday).