Tom Seibly will never forget the day he joined his best friend Ed Allred, now the owner of Los Alamitos Race Course, for their first trip ever to good ol' Los Al back in 1959.
"Ed and I used to go to Santa Anita and Hollywood Park regularly back then," began Seibly, who is now the vice president and a director of Los Alamitos Race Course. "We were law student at USC at the time and when Santa Anita ran, we used to wait until the last race on the card because they would open up the gate and let you in for free. We would go from Glendale to Arcadia just to play the final race on the card.
"Then came our first trip to Los Alamitos," remembers Seibly, now a retired judge from North San Joaquin County. "The big attraction was that the Allred Brothers had a horse running that day. Ed had a VW Bug back then, so we jumped on it and went to Los Al.
"The minute we walked in to the place we saw that seventy to eighty percent of the people there were cowboys, dressed in jeans with big cowboy hats and silver buckles. It was like we had gone back in time."
The two friends would make the Orange County track and important part of their life after such a wonderfully enjoyable first visit.
"We befriended owners Bob and Len Hopkins, who owned a mare by the name of 89er Lassie at the time. She was a great mare, which won five of seven starts during one meeting. We were young and so enthusiastic about the Quarter Horses that they took a liking to us and befriended us," Seibly continued. "They invited us to sit in their box and they would even let us go into the winner's circle whenever 89er Lassie would win a race.
"The Hopkins had a ranch called Shibui Farms in Minden, Nevada and we would go there to visit. Whenever Bob came to Los Alamitos, he would stay at Don's Turf Motel and this place is still there on Katella Avenue. There's even photos of the three of us standing there in front of Don's Turf Motel. We always had a great time at Los Al and Ed got drawn into Los Alamitos pretty quickly. In fact, Ed would later buy 89er Lassie to be a broodmare.
"I remember when Vandy's Flash set the world record at 350 yards in :17.50 at 3-1 odds," Seibly said. "We were there for that race. On the night of the Ed Burke Million trials, I thought about Vandy's Flash, because Ten Oclock Scholar won his race in a time of :17.51."
Owned by Seibly and Allred, Ten Oclock Scholar's winning time didn't threaten Corona Chick's current track record of :17.22, however, the Spencer Childers-bred gelding by Bono Jazz did earn a time good enough to qualify to the $1,142,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity to be held on Saturday, June 24. Ten Oclock Scholar represents the first horse that Seibly has owned in over 30 years.
"Ed and I were partners on the first horse he ever bought," Seibly explained. "We were right out of graduate school when we did that."
"We called ourselves Oaks Stable," Allred recalled. "There was six of us in the group and our name stood for the first letter in our last names. I was the A and Tom was the S on Oaks Stable."
"We bought two horses and we were into them for about $400 each," Seibly continued. "One of them was Beowave and the other one was Punch Time. In Beowawe's first race for us he was in either the first or second leg of the early Double. He won at 7-2 odds and we were all hooked on racing. It was about that time that Ed was drafted and went to Vietnam.
"After Ed came back, he started buying horses on his own and we couldn't keep up. His ability to buy horses was far greater than any of us. I stayed involved from the standpoint of enjoying and observing my friend's interests in racehorse ownership and breeding. It's been enjoyable to watch him move up all the way to owner of Los Alamitos Race Course."
Year after year Seibly enjoyed the Allred's extensive exploits, which have included nine AQHA Champion Breeder titles and six AQHA Champion owner titles.
"After Oaks Stable disbanded I did not own another horse until Ten Oclock Scholar," Seibly said.
So how did Seibly's return to racehorse ownership come about?
"We were at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale together and I asked him if he wanted to be partners on Ten Oclock Scholar and he agreed," Allred said. "Tom is my lifelong best friend and I've had a lot of fun watching and seeing his excitement about this horse."
Allred and Seibly first met while attending La Sierra University. They would cement their friendship when they both attended Law School at USC at the same time.
"When we were in graduate school Tom came to live with me and my grandmother in Los Angeles," Allred said.
After graduating from USC, Seibly went to work for the district attorney's office in Kern County.
"I went to Lodi in 1964," Seibly said. "I hung a shingle over a door and opened up a single practitioner office. I would later work for a law firm then I ran for election and I was elected to be a judge in San Joaquin County. I was sworn in January of 1977. I was a full time trial court judge from 1977 to 1998. I retired eight years ago but still fill in every once in a while."
Seibly and his wife Betty have three children and five grandchildren. Several members of their family will join the couple on the big night of the Ed Burke Million final.