Alan Horowitz, a major force in California harness racing over the last several decades and a member of the California Harness Horsemen’s Association Hall of Fame, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday (April 22) at age 73.
Horowitz, who wore many hats in the business, started out as a partner with longtime friends Donald and Barbara Arnstine and Steve Desomer with a $25,000 claimer named Quaker Byrd.
Quaker Byrd won his first race for the partners and Alan was hooked. Moving on, Alan would eventually become a board member and president of CHHA.
In 1994, Horowitz was instrumental in bringing harness racing back to Cal Expo in the form of Capitol Racing and was also its successful general manager.
Horowitz was serving as the executive secretary of the CHHA at the time of his retirement in 2013 and continued to stay in touch with the sport that he loved so much.
Horowitz is survived by his son Michael; his daughter Jessica Rhoades; and two grandchildren, Emerson and Campbell Rhoades. A memorial race and special ceremony will take when harness racing returns to Cal Expo in the fall.
"It is impossible to overstate Alan's importance to the harness racing industry in California,” said David Neumeister. “Simply put, if it were not for Alan, the sport would no longer exist in this state.
“Between his time as executive director of Western Standardbred Association (now CHHA) and owner/ manager of our only yearling sale company when racing was flourishing in California and his decision to retire from CHHA a few years ago, against all odds and some very powerful adversaries, Alan almost single-handedly took us from the brink of extinction in the mid-90s and formed and led Capitol Racing in Sacramento to several very successful years of harness racing in that city.
“Were it not for his quiet determination and tactical brilliance, we would not be racing here today. In addition, as my wife said the other night when she heard of his passing, ‘Alan Horowitz was probably the nicest man I have ever known.’"
Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Alan Horowitz.