Hollywood Park Closes After 75 Years of Racing

Sunday’s attendance at Betfair Hollywood Park exceeded 13,000 as horseracing fans gathered to enjoy the track’s final day of racing. Hollywood Park has been operating for 75 years and has hosted many historic events, including the very first Breeders’ Cup in 1984, and has seen the likes of Seabiscuit, Zenyatta, Affirmed, Citation and Seattle Slew thundering down its track….

Highlights of the day included the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes which was won by the 2-1 favorite California Chrome, with Victor Espinoza on board. The 2-year-old won the race by six and a quarter lengths. Jockey Rafael Bejarano rode four of the winners on the eleven race card, thereby claiming the jockey’s title. The third race of the day was won by Tanquerray, owned by actor Dick Van Patten who has been a regular at the track for decades. The final turf race was won by Woodman’s Luck, trained by Vladimir Cerin and ridden by Corey Nakatani.

Renowned architect Arthur Froehlich was the designer of the racetrack which was opened by the Hollywood Turf Club in 1938. In true Hollywood style, the track’s chairman was Harry Warner of Warner Brothers, and there were a number of Hollywood personalities among its 600 shareholders. The closure of the track was announced in May 2013, an outcome which was declared as inevitable in light of the current business model of horseracing. While opinions are divided as to how and why Hollywood Park got to this point, it is undeniably that the racing industry nationwide is battling with declines in attendance and wagering.

A retail and residential development is planned for the 260-acre area once known as the “Track of the Lakes and Flowers” – Hollywood Park.