Recent Stakes Victories:
-Won MBNA California Championship Challenge with Rojo Dancer in 2000
-Won Charger Bar Handicap with Flare For Toby in 2002
-Won the Las Damas Handicap with Flare For Toby in 2001
-Won Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap with Flare For Toby in 2000 & 2001
-Won 2008 Ed Burke Million Futurity with Foose
-Won 2008 La Primera Del Ano Derby with Forgive Him
Only 14 years old when the Vessels Family began the rich quarter horse racing tradition at Los Alamitos Race Course in 1951, Edward C. Allred has watched his love for the world's fastest horses progress to his 100 percent ownership of the nation's quarter horse racing capital.
When Allred first came through the turnstiles at Los Alamitos Race Course in 1959 there was no need for any fanfare. Allred was just a young law student at the University of Southern California and part-time racing fan who had read in The Daily Racing Form that the Allred Brothers were racing horses that day at the track. While the Allred Brothers proved to be no relation, that first trip out to Los Alamitos had a deep and lasting impact on the young student.
"I used to go to the races at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park with my friend, Tom Seibly, who is now a retired judge and on our board of directors at the track," Allred remembers. "At the time, I only had a vague idea of what a Quarter Horse race was. I hadn't ever seen one. But I loved it all from the very start.
"I just fell in love with the place and with the people. I almost forgot about other forms of racing. Tom and I would come out as often as we could. We'd sit next to people like Robert and Len Hopkins, who had a place called Shibui Farms near Carson City, Nevada. They had a real good mare named 89'er Lassie, who ran up the ladder from the lower ranks all the way to the big races. That's where I met Bruce Hawkinson, who was training the mare. Bruce became my trainer years later, when I could afford to have horses of my own."
The young law student would change course and become a medical student and finally a physician. While a medical student Allred purchased his first Quarter Horse and when his financial picture improved, so did his involvement with the sport. "I didn't have any business buying a horse, but I'm glad I did," Allred said. "His name was Beowawe."
Along with Beowawe, Allred was partner on a mare named Punch Time. Allred kept the mare despite the fact that she struggled on the track for the partners. He later took Punch Time to to a horse named Windy Sea for the purpose of breeding her. "I was becoming a student of pedigrees and I thought Quarter Horse breeders should breed to him - nobody had at that point."
Punch Time was unable to get in foal right away. "Then I got drafted into the army and had to sell her. This was in '65. I spent two years as a captain in the medical corps - a year in Virginia and a year in Saigon, Vietnam," Allred recalled.
While in Saigon, Allred found out that Punch Time was in foal to Windy Sea, and he immediately set out to buy her back. Allred did just that and was rewarded with a Windy Sea filly. "I named her Gritch. She ran successfully, won some races and then she had several good foals for me - including Ritch Gritch, a Dusty Canyon (TB) filly who won the Golden State Derby at (odds of) 92-1. That was my start."
In addition to his string of racing Quarter Horses, Allred made a move into the world of track management, first being selected by Spencer L. Childers to the board of the PCQHRA, and later joining a group of horsemen in forming Horsemen's Quarter Horse Racing Association. The HQHRA went on to lease Los Alamitos for the winter meet. Included in that group were such men as Childers, Pat Hyland, Robert Boniface and Z. Wayne Griffin. All of these men were immensely successful in the business world and their expertise was a key to HQHRA's success. "I can't say enough about those men," Allred says. "We wouldn't be here without them."
The early 1980s would test the mettle of some of these men when Millie Vessels decided to sell Los Alamitos Race Course to the owners of Hollywood Park. The Hollywood Park years were short and stormy at Los Alamitos and it was at this time that Allred decided to step in and attempt to purchase the track. This effort at first seemed to be in vain as Hollywood Park sold Los Alamitos to competing harness racing interests. However, in 1990 with the valued assistance of his close friend R.D. Hubbard, Allred was able to purchase one-half of the track.
With his purchase of one-half interest in Los Alamitos Race Course, Allred was now placed in a position of being partners with a harness group with which he had always been forced to compete against for the night horse racing business. Shortly into this new arrangement, Allred and his new partners, Christo Bardis and Lloyd Arnold, formed a close working friendship which has lasted to this day. On February 17, 1998, after several years of friendly negotiating, Allred became sole owner of the track.
"I never set out with any idea that I would be able to own this place or anything like that," Allred said. "It would have been preposterous for me to ever think so, but it fell to my lot and I thank God that I have been able to find the means to do it. This place has been special to me since I was a kid and has always been the citadel for Quarter Horse racing."
Allred still breeds and raises top-notch Quarter Horses at his Rolling A Ranch in Atascadero, California. Allred has won AQHA's Champion Breeder title nine times and the Champion Owner award six times. In the 1990s, he led all owners in number of victories eight times, and has topped all breeders in wins from 1992 through 2004. Last year, horses bred by Allred won 111 races and 14 stakes races while earning $1,575,685. As an owner, Allred watched his horses race home victorious in 37 of 340 starts, amassing $421,806 in earnings.
In addition to his strong racetrack stable, Allred is also the architect of stallion syndicates for Walk Thru Fire, Snowbound and Separatist. Walk Thru Fire is the sire of Grade 1 winners Higher Fire and Gold Nugget Rd, while Snowbound is the sire of champion Snowbound Superstar. Separatist, a horse bred by Allred, is the sire of 2005 World Champion DM Shicago. Allred's Rolling A Ranch is the home of his young stallion TR Dasher, sire of Grade 1 finalists Freaky and Daddy Dasher.
In past years, Allred's ranch housed the super sire Raise A Secret, who produced such top horses as Kingman Kid, Girl Secrets, Daggers And Darkness, Pride Of Katella and Secret Card. The power of his broodmare band is evidenced by Separatist and Make It Anywhere's sweep of the 2000 PCQHRA Breeders Derby and Futurity. Both horses were foaled by Allred's late great broodmare Seperate Ways.