EDWARD C. ALLRED PROFILE
Owner, President and CEO
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 1956 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 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.”
Allred would go on to enjoy one of the most memorable wins in the sport when
the bay mare Charger Bar scored a neck victory over The Honker in the
Champion of Champions on December 22, 1973. Allred owned Charger Bar,
the all-time co-record holder at Los Alamitos with 18 stakes wins, along
with partner Dr. Kenneth L. Wright. Charger Bar competed in the first
three runnings of the Champion of Champions, as she also finished third in
the inaugural 1972 running and fifth in the 1974 renewal of the sport’s
most prestigious race for older horses.
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 that 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. In 2004, horses bred by Allred won 111 races and 14 stakes races while earning $1,575,685.
In addition to his strong racetrack stable, Allred’s Rolling A Ranch has been the home of top sires such as Raise A Secret, Walk Thru Fire and First Down Express. In past years, Allred’s ranch housed the super sire Raise A Secret, who sired 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 great late broodmare Seperate Ways. Allred also owned the late great Jetsetting Girl.
Her progeny include the Raise A Secret stallion Bridlewood, winner of the California Breeders Sophomore Stakes and an earner of $191,358. Bridlewood ran second in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and as a sophomore he was the California Hi Point Three-Year-Old Colt.
Jetsetting Girl is also the dam of the Raise A Secret filly Girl Secrets, a winner of seven races and earnings of $177,552. She won the Golden State Derby, La Primera Del Ano Derby and California Sires Cup Derby and was second in the Southern California Derby and a finalist in the Los Alamitos Derby. Citation Five is another stakes winner produced by Jetsetting Girl. Also by Raise A Secret, this gelding won five races including the California Futurity.
Jetsetting Girl's richest son is Gulfstream Five, who earned $225,827 while running in the Los Alamitos Million Futurity and finishing second in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby and PCQHRA Breeders Derby. Other sons out of this outstanding broodmare included Timothy Pilot ($121,479), who ran second in the Gold Rush Derby at 870 yards, and Easily A Secrets ($86,707), the runner-up in the California Sires Cup Derby.
Allred still owns the talented broodmare Oh La Proud, the dam of champion stallion Hawkinson and 2003 champion 2-year-old colt Hawkish, and broodmares Mega Storm, who produced 2005 Los Alamitos Million finalist He Storms, Jetsetting Girl, the dam of Gulfstream Five, an earner of more than $220,000, and TL Pie.
Allred is also the architect of syndicates that stands Separatist, the sire of last year’s All American Futurity winner DM Shicago, and rising stallion star Walk Thru Fire, the sire of Ed Burke Million and Golden State Million Futurity winner Higher Fire. Allred and Mike Abraham purchased Walk Thru Fire in a multi-million dollar deal in 2005. Allred also heads the Snowbound (TB), Harems Legacy and Masters Call syndicates.