LA Weekly: Chronicling the Last Days of Hollywood Park
As the storied track prepares to close its doors for good Dec. 22, LA Weekly devotes a lengthy piece to the nostalgia, repercussions, and symbolism regarding the end of Betfair Hollywood Park.
Author Mike Seely takes in the racetrack from every possible viewpoint, incorporating comments from bettors, trainers, owners, backstretch workers, and turf writers among others.
“So many people live on the backstretch; a lot of families are going to be disrupted. It’s not just a racetrack. It’s a home,” laments backstretch worker Lisa Mayer.
“It’s sad that it’s going away, but it’s not a death grip for California racing,” says trainer John Sadler.
Seely also broadens the context to take a look at the sport in general. He writes:
“In baseball, the equivalent would be if Fenway Park ceased operating, with no replacement planned. But while America’s pastime faces fixable challenges, many have diagnosed horse racing with terminal cancer: The sport is in need of a miracle cure to survive at anything but its most elite level. As the clock ticks, there’s no tenable consensus about how to save it.”