TEMECULA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2015) -- Galway Downs in Temecula, Calif., was approved as an auxiliary stabling venue to replace Fairplex Park, which is closing in February.
Joe Morris of the TOC and Alan Balch of the California Thoroughbred Trainers association told the racing board that up to 400 horses can be accommodated at Galway Downs, but that considerably fewer are expected to be based there in coming months. Most horses in training in Southern California are based at Los Alamitos, Santa Anita, and the San Luis Rey Downs training center in northern San Diego County.
Those four venues will give Southern California racing capacity for 3,400 to 3,500 horses.
The Galway Downs license approval was contingent on the completion of several technical issues, such as receiving clearance from local fire officials, emergency protocols, and completing security arrangements. The facility is expected to open by Feb. 4.
Fairplex Park will close for year-round stabling next month, but will continue to operate as an off-track betting site. Fairplex Park did not run its Los Angeles County fair meeting in Pomona last September, moving the dates to Los Alamitos.
The closure of Fairplex Park for off-track stabling will save the indebted Southern California stabling and vanning fund approximately $10,000 per day, officials said. The fund has a deficit of approximately $4 million, which will be reduced under the current structure.
“This is a better financial scenario for us,” Morris said.