It's the only place in the world where you can enjoy a Blane Burger while sitting outside in the open air, watching the fastest horses in the world working out during the early morning hours.
The place is Schwanie's Grill At The Gap, Los Alamitos' brand new restaurant located in front of the turn for home on the far end of the grandstand apron. The restaurant was inaugurated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Fall of 2000 and is named in honor of Blane Schvaneveldt, a training legend at Los Alamitos.
"Los Alamitos has always been a training ground for great horsemen and none represent this better than Blane Schvaneveldt," said Edward C. Allred, the owner and CEO of Los Alamitos Race Course. "Blane is Mr. Los Alamitos and we're very proud of having this new restaurant named in his honor. This replaces the old track kitchen, and is just one of the latest projects in the continuing renovation of Los Alamitos."
Schwanie's Grill At The Gap promises to be one of the most popular morning locations for horsemen and racing fans in southern California. Here's the schedule for Schwanie's:
Racing fans are able to enjoy Schwanie's At The Gap on a restricted basis. Fans are allowed during the morning workouts to enjoy a brand new and different look at the fastest horses in the world. Schwanie's Grill At The Gap promises to be a hit thanks to its many charming details. The restaurant features a patio style deck where fans can take in all the sounds and sights of horse racing in the early morning hours. The side of the building features old-fashioned hitching posts, complete with a watering hole, where trainers and outriders will surely let their horses rest while they go inside for a quick bite.
At Schwanie's visitors can enjoy quality food at great prices. The Blane Burger, which is essentially a double cheeseburger, includes a side of fries for only $4.25. The Mexican Breakfast Specials feature Huevos Rancheros or Huevos con Machaca or a la Mexicana all for only $4.25. A complete breakfast menu includes french toast for only $3.50. Lunch and dinner entries range from $6.75 to $9.25 and are all served with rice, beans and tortillas.
Inside, Schwanie's Grill At The Gap features comfortable chairs and 18 large tables able to accomodate 72 guests. A hallway features colorful photographs of some of Schvaneveldt's memorable stakes wins with jockeys like Robert "The Master" Adair and Ralph Pauline. The room also features four 20" inch television sets and two self service wagering machines for fans that want to keep up with all the racing action that is simulcasted daily at the Orange County oval.
"This is a combination of a lot of ideas by a lot people," Allred added. "I think it will be a great spot for owners to socialize with others in the industry and enjoy their horses during morning workouts, especially to watch their 2-year-olds get ready for the season. This is something that has been missing from Los Alamitos for a very long time."
Schvaneveldt is the sport's all-time leader in wins and stakes wins. Over the years, the legendary horseman has saddled some of the sport's greatest stars including World Champions Refrigerator and First Down Dash, Dash For Speed, Cash Rate and Miss Thermolark.
"I've been at Los Alamitos for a long time and this is one of the most special moments I've ever had at this track," said Schvaneveldt. "This is a real honor for me." For more information please call Los Alamitos Race Course at 714-820-2800.