Friday, May 10, 2013

Hollywood Park to Close in 2013

(wikipedia photo)
Racing fans everywhere are lamenting the news that Hollywood Park in Los Angeles will close in December.  When the track was sold in 2005 by Churchill Downs to a development company, most knew its fate was sealed.  One can always hope.

(Pinterest photo)

The track was opened in 1938 by the Hollywood Turf Club and was designed by noted racetrack architect Arthur Froehlich. At the time its chairman was Harry Warner (of Warner Brothers fame) and its 600 shareholders included Al Jolson and other Hollywood luminaries.  In 1949 its grandstand and clubhouse were destroyed by fire and the facility was rebuilt and opened again a year later.  A card casino was added in 1994.

(Pinterest photo)

In 2005, the track was sold to Bay Meadows Land Company for $260 million in cash.  Under the terms of the deal the company was to operate the property for at least three years as a race track.

Some notable Grade 1 races run at the park include The Hollywood Gold Cup, the Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes, the Citation Handicap, and the Hollywood Derby.  There are others.

It's a sad day for racing history when a historic property closes for good, probably to make room for yet another housing development.  It was here that Seabiscuit won the inaugural running of the Hollywood Gold Cup.  Other greats also ran here:  Citation, Swaps, Round Table, Ack Ack, Seattle Slew, Cigar.

Demolition should begin soon after Dec. 22.   Ironically, the Hollywood Park Casino will remain.  


  1. I went here once when I lived in Southern California. Churchill Downs owns the racetrack that is not too far from where I live now

  2. Been there many times. Its a beautiful facility. Very historic. But, it sits on a large chunk of prime real estate in Los Angeles where space is at a premium. Don't like the thought of it being demolished and building more housing. Santa Anita Park is struggling as well.


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