They’ve been coming around the final turn and heading for home for 67 years. Come Sept. 8, the distinctive sound of the opening of the starting gate will resonate and the 68th season of L.A. County Fair live horse racing will commence.
Coming off a record-breaking year in 2005, Fair officials anticipate a great meeting—surpassing 2005 would be nice. The icing on the cake of a record-breaking year is the rewards it offers. Purses on Fairplex Park races have been increased 5 percent, sharing the bounty with all of the players. Twenty-one stakes races are offered, including four for quarter horses.
Full fields, competitive jockeys and increased purses all make participants and fans happy. The racing meet is 16 days, Sept. 8-25, Tuesdays, as in 2005 are dark. First post is 1 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and noon, Fridays through Sundays. Seventeen stakes races are featured including the signature $125,000-guaranteed, Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap, Sunday, Sept. 24. Also on Sept. 24, second on the list of all-time winning trainers, Ted West, will be inducted into the Fairplex Park Hall of Fame, a testament to his talents and contributions to the sport. The season will be a tribute to the late Bob Lewis, inarguably a stellar human being and major league horse owner. His wife, Beverly, and son, Jeff, are continuing the horse racing operation, since the death of Lewis in February 2006.
Fairplex Park introduces a number of promotions. Since the Fair is closed on Mondays, but racing action continues, admission and parking is free along with a free Daily Racing Form and program; Bingo Bash Wednesdays have $5,000 in payouts and Las Vegas getaways; Wednesdays are also Senior Days with admission just $5; Thursdays are Texas Hold ‘Em fun and excitement; Fridays award all wearing Hawaiian garb with free box seating and prizes; Fridays and Saturdays have Domino Tournaments.
Fairplex Park has the unique luxury of not only being an outstanding horse racing meet, but being located at a Fair, so fun is most definitely on the radar screen.
Admission to Fairplex Park is free with Fair admission. Box seating is available, as is lunch at Top of the Park or at The Veranda. The 2006 L.A. County Fair is Sept. 8-Oct. 1, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Visit the Web site at www.lacountyfair.com for more information.