A very successful 2003 L.A. County Fair horse racing meet translated into additional monies for the horsemen that participated at the recently concluded event. Live horse racing is a big attraction at the L.A. County Fair, a mainstay since its inception in 1922, with a monumental footnote since the L.A. County Fair was the first in Southern California to offer pari-mutuel wagering when it was legalized in 1933.
The L.A. County Fair was held Sept. 12-28, 2003, and through 17 days of horse racing a record shattering, staggering $109,249,303 was generated, including a record breaking single day handle of $10.2 million from Saturday, Sept. 27.
The sizes of the fields for the daily races showed a significant increase in 2003. More than $4.2 million in purses were paid out during the meeting. That figure includes the 14 percent increase from overpayment of purses that the horsemen will share. The fields showed an overall increase in all categories—thoroughbreds, quarter horses, appaloosas, and mules.
The Fair remains one of the only venues where families and friends can meet, take in the sights and sounds of the Fair, and as part of that experience view a live horse race for the first time. Admission to the races is included with Fair admission and there are 12 races daily.
Barretts Equine Ltd., located on-site at Fairplex hosts six equine sales each year, including the prestigious March Sale of Selected Two-Year-Old Thoroughbreds in Training, which attracts a large contingency of national and international buyers. Fairplex Park hosts satellite wagering on a year-round basis and also serves as a year-round training facility with barns and stalls available for 700 horses.
The 2004 L.A. County Fair is slated for Sept. 10-26, with 17 days of live horse racing returning to historic Fairplex Park for the 66th season. For information on the Fair, visit the Web site at www.fairplex.com. /b.j