RIP Hollywood Park: Land ‘Simply Has a Higher and Better Use’

by | 05.09.2013 | 2:38pm

We all knew the end was near, but officials with Bay Meadows Land Co., the real estate development operation that owns Betfair Hollywood Park, have made it official: There will be no more live racing at the Inglewood, Calif., racetrack after this year's 75th anniversary season.

The California Horse Racing Board was notified by the track's owners that it will not seek racing dates in 2014 and will close the stable area at the end of this year. The announcement was not unexpected.

“Ownership has been upfront from the beginning that the property would eventually be developed unless there were significant changes in the horse racing business,'' said Betfair Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau. “Despite the Hollywood Park Land Company financially supporting two statewide initiatives with varying degrees of support from other segments of the racing industry, the attempts to upgrade the business model were not successful.

“From an economic point of view, the land now simply has a higher and better use, so, unfortunately, racing will not continue here once the 2013 Autumn meet is completed.''
Liebau said further logistics regarding the pending closure will be worked out in the coming months.

The current Spring/Summer meet continues through Sunday, July 14. Racing will cease with the conclusion of the autumn meet, which is scheduled to begin Thursday, Nov. 7 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 22.

The die for Hollywood Park was cast in 2005 when Churchill Downs Inc. sold the “track of lakes and flowers” to Bay Meadows Land Co. for $257.5 million. Churchill Downs had purchased the track for $140 million in 1999 from a racing and gaming company controlled by R.D. Hubbard, who won a proxy battle over longtime Hollywood Park executive Marje Everett in 1991.

At the time of that sale, Hubbard said Wall Street investors were confused as to whether his company was in racing or gaming business. “I think this pretty well clarifies that,” Hubbard said at news conference.

Thomas Meeker, then president of Churchill Downs, said at the time of CDI's purchase of Hollywood Park: “We are thrilled at the prospect of expanding our racing operations from coast to coast. With the recent acquisition of Calder Race Course in Miami and now possibly the Hollywood Park race track in Southern California, Churchill Downs will be positioned to be the premier race track operator and simulcast broadcaster in the United States.”

But Churchill Downs followed Hubbard's former company (which changed its name from Hollywood Park to Pinnacle Gaming) into the gaming business and divested itself of some of its racetrack properties, including Hollywood Park.

The intentions of BMLC from the time it purchased the track were to develop the Hollywood Park property, but along came the global economic crisis, beginning in 2007, and the real estate and development market went into a lengthy slump. It is now recovering, and plans for a major project called Hollywood Park Tomorrow on the racetrack property are close to fruition.

There have been discussions but no resolution about what will become of the racing dates that Betfair Hollywood Park has occupied, from April-July and November-December each year. Neither has there been any substantial plan put forward for anyone to absorb the horses currently stabled in the Hollywood Park backstretch. The track has 1,950 stalls and accommodations for about 500 stable hands.

Hollywood Park opened in June 1938 and its storied history features many notable achievements, from Seabiscuit's victory in the inaugural Hollywood Gold Cup to the track hosting the inaugural Breeders' Cup in 1984.

Once one of America's most popular racetracks, with on-track attendance averaging over 34,000 daily in 1965, there has been virtually no marketing of the sport following BMLC's purchase of Hollywood Park, and on-track crowds seldom reached 10,000, even on the biggest days of the year.

  • This is a sad day and a low mark in the history of horse racing in California. For years, the powers that be knew this day was coming…and yet they did nothing. The CHRB couldn’t formulate a plan to turn on the lights in a dark room. Three and a-half months of Santa Anita are like a slice of heaven, seven months is too much of a good thing. And good luck keeping the Santa Anita turf course in one piece that amount of continuous usage.

    Here’s hoping they have a shred of decency left and take the time to relocate Landaluce, Native Diver, and Great Communicator. Hey, CHRB, it would be the right thing to do.
    RIP Hollywood Park and thanks for the memories.

    • My plan as noted earlier consolidates No. Cal and So. Cal into one circuit EXCEPT when Del Mar and the Cal Fairs are running in the summer. Santa Anita would get 1-3 extra weeks a year, but that would be it since only No. Cal OR So. Cal would be running most of the year.

      • johnthekiwi

        I thought your idea was pretty good. I’m sure whatever is eventually worked out will look something like it.

  • This does present an opportunity for California to get racing back in a much better shape, but it would require horsemen in Northern and Southern California to realize with a horse shortage that is coming, there may not be enough horses to have two circuits in California racing much longer outside of the summer, when the Northern California Fairs are running and a large number of shippers from outside California head for the Del Mar racing season. With that in mind, the closing of Hollywood Park should also mean the end of two racing circuits in California, with Northern California (Golden Gate) and Southern California (Santa Anita, Del Mar and to a lesser extent Fairplex) being combined into a single circuit, with the except of when Del Mar is running since the Northern California Fair tracks would also be running at that time, albeit in some cases a little later than they currently do.

    The season for a combined circuit as I would do it:

    Santa Anita (main meet): December 26-Kentucky Derby Day (the meet would end on that Saturday, which in 2014 is May 3).

    Golden Gate: (spring meet) Kentucky Oaks Day (May 2 in 2014)-early July (somewhere in the vicinity of July 4). Golden Gate would take over the bulk of Hollywood Park’s current spring stakes, including the Hollywood Gold Cup, Shoemaker Mile, Charles Whittingham, etc. (with the Gold Rush, spring version of the California Cup on the Saturday between the Derby and Preakness). There likely would be minimal to a minor overlap with the No. Cal fairs towards the end of the season, plus there would be an overlap of both Northern and Southern California racing on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days.

    The Northern California Fairs would run as they do now, though some fairs would likely see their dates adjusted to reflect Golden Gate running a little later into the summer and NOT running in late August-early September.

    Del Mar: The Del Mar season would begin five days earlier than at present (beginning the Friday before the meet currently does which in 2014 would be July 11) and would conclude three days later than at present (Saturday after Labor Day, in 2014 September 6). Del Mar would get the Swaps and Affirmed from Hollywood since Del Mar does not have a “dirt” stakes race for three year olds. This would be the only extended period Northern California (until the end of the fairs) and Southern California would be running at the same time. The Affirmed on the main track would likely replace the Oceanside as Del Mar’s opening day feature (with the earlier opening date, the Oceanside would remain on it’s traditional day of the schedule) with the Affirmed and Swaps used as the main west coast preps for the Travers at Saratoga or for three year olds planning to face their elders at Del Mar in the Pacific Classic.

    The opening program at Del Mar (on a Friday) would be 12 races with the normal start time of 2:00 PM Pacific. Saturday and Sunday of opening weekend would be 11 races each day before settling into the regular format for racing at Del Mar. The closing Saturday program would also be 12 races with first post at 1:00 PM local time. A total of six days would be added to Del Mar’s regular racing season.

    Fairplex Park: Meet would begin the day after Del Mar ends their season (in 2014, Sunday, Sept. 7) with 14 days of racing that would include three Mondays, including a closing Monday program on Sept 22.

    Santa Anita (Autumn meet): Meet in 2014 would start where it has been in recent years in late September (Friday, Sept. 26 for ’14) and would run through Breeders’ Cup Saturday, which would be November 1 in 2014 and closing day.

    Golden Gate: (Autumn meet): This meet in 2014 would start on Breeders’ Cup Friday (October 31) and conclude Saturday, December 20. Most of Hollywood’s Fall Stakes would be transferred to Golden Gate, including the Hollywood Turf Cup, Hollywood Starlet and Cash Call Futurity. The exceptions would be the Autumn Turf Festival stakes. As with the Derby weekend, Breeders Cup weekend would overlap with Santa Anita, and there would be one other overlap in the fall with Southern California:

    Del Mar (Thanksgiving Meet): This would be just a four-day meet on Thanksgiving weekend that would run all of Hollywood Park’s Autumn Turf Festival Stakes, including the Matriarch, Hollywood Derby, Citation and Generous. It would give horsemen not wishing to ship north for Golden Gate’s meeting there one chance to race before Santa Anita in the fall. Because of the shortness of daylight at this time of year, lights would likely be needed for this meet, which also would allow Del Mar to make a serious bid to land the Breeders’ Cup.

    This to me is what needs to be done with California Racing now that Hollywood Park is closing. There is a VERY bumpy road ahead, especially with horse shortages coming. The best thing would be a return to how it used to be in California, when for most of the year you had Northern or Southern California racing, but NOT both.

    It is sad to see Hollywood Park apparently close for good, but at the same time, it is a chance for California to do things right and consolidate their circuits into a single circuit for the betterment of the sport as a whole.

    • Nancy Taylor

      No chance of the TOC/CHRB cutting back to one circuit and presenting a much better product for the fans. That would be the right thing to do. They would rather continue with the status quo, unplayable 5-6 horse fields with the current two circuits.

      • Nancy, I know that. It still needed to be stated that cutting back to one circuit (except in the summer when because of shippers at Del Mar, there are enough horses for two circuits) is needed because of the oncoming horse shortage.

    • swaps55

      A racing schedule worthy of consideration….

  • Knowitall

    One more thing the sport can thank CDI for…

    • Deltalady

      You have the wrong bogeyman…..CDI isn’t responsible for the decline of our beloved sport….CDI isn’t the culprit here. It’s an overall decline of the sport, and in any business model that is broken, there is a contraction and consolidation that takes place. Sometimes, things must get in crisis-mode before constructive change can take place. Businesses are in business to make a profit….if they don’t they soon cease to exist. While some jobs will be lost, there will be new opportunities that will create new jobs. Many of the backside employees will follow their trainers to their new locations. Some retail businesses likely will lose some revenue, but there will be new sources of revenue that will be the outgrowth of the new development.
      What does need to be done are for some citizen groups to get together to help determine the disposition and relocation of the many artifacts, graves, statues, and other memorabilia to help ensure that while the track will no longer exist that we protect the 75 years of memories and at least preserve and honor those of a bygone era.

  • johnthekiwi

    Couldn’t stand the place and hated the surface and small chalky fields but it is another nail in the California horse racing coffin unfortunately. Hopefully it will help Golden Gate.

    • Don Reed

      This could very well work out in GG’s favor. The only negative I can imagine is the southern Californians aren’t generally fond of the Bay Area; and the Bay Area people rightly think that life in Los Angeles and it’s 2000 suburbs is hell on earth, a cultural wasteland. Trainers might move from HP to GG; will the owners in LA do the same?

      • Lost In The Fog

        Hollywood’s race dates will be transferred to Santa Anita and Del Mar. Both SA and DM are much more attractive venues than BHP for a variety of reasons and the surfaces at both can probably survive the added pounding with proper maintenance. That’s the easy part of the equation.

        What’s infinitely more problematic is solving the problems of where to stable and train the horses as well as house the backside stable hands that will all be left without a home after BHP closes at the end of this year. A renovated San Luis Rey facility will pick up some of the slack while the remainder will be relegated to less attractive facilities at Fairplex. That’s what’s going to happen.

        The likelihood of a split season between GGF in the north and SA/DM in the south isn’t even on the CHRBs radar at this point. No matter how the details play out in the short or long term I don’t see it benefitting GGF. As the overall thoroughbred population of race-ready horses in CA continues to shrink GGF will eventually lose more dates in the north to help fill the races and dwindling fields in the south. I’ll be surprised if it turns out any other way.

        • It is very unrealistic to have two circuits in California (outside of summer) much longer. The horse shortage (we had the smallest foal crop since 1967 in 2012) is going to create bigger and bigger problems. If it were up to me, I would make it clear that the two circuits will have to merge into one so there are enough horses to race, and people will have to ship back and forth. It would be a return to the way it was done most of the year prior to 1967 and in the fall prior to 1981.

  • cdfan

    I don’t know if this is a domino effect, but this is not a good day for racing. Holly has always been a part of the fabric of the sport. It seems like racing has a lack of imagination so often. It amazes me that tracks like Keeneland, Oaklawn, Saratoga, Del Mar can do so well, and others like Belmont, Aqueduct, Turfway, even Santa Anita etc just can’t attract crowds. I only went to Hollywood Park a few times, it was enjoyable. Someday, somehow the industry must get together and offer a solid plan of survival.

  • GregS

    With all due respect to those who seem eager to map out the new future for California racing, could we just wait a few days before hatching brilliant schemes and show some sympathy for all of the longtime employees who’ve just found out they are losing jobs? Folk who do not make enough money to travel between Northern And Southern California in the fantasy circuit everyone here thinks will be such a rousing success?

    By the way, shouldn’t Bay Meadows Land Company actually get close to developing the
    Bay Meadows property before moving ahead?

    • Under normal circumstances, yes, but ALL of us have known this day was coming for years. It was just a matter of when it would happen, not if. The writing on the wall came in 2005 when Churchill Downs sold the track.

      The views I wrote in my earlier post are those I have posted before. Given the dwindling horse population, as sad as it is for everyone at Hollywood Park, it does present a chance to do things that are needed to keep the sport in California viable over the long haul (as I stated, consolidating racing in California into one circuit in a return to how it used to be done prior to 1967 with limited exceptions). This should be a wake-up call to everyone in So. California that things will have to change.

      • GregS

        If the racing industry hasn’t figured out a solution with all of this advance warning, it’s hard to see how closing the place will improve a lack of vision, compassion or organization. This property will sit vacant just like Bay Meadows while they figure out how to deal with the asbestos and find over a billion dollars in financing to build the dream condos.

        • nu-fan

          Or, it can become an opportunity for large-scale development. The real estate in California has rebounded considerably and its building industry is starting to rev up again. Some are even finding a shortage of construction workers to keep pace with the building that is starting to occur. While I do not know if that property will sit vacant for long, it may be that the expenses, of keeping HP open, far outweighs having the property remain idle.

      • nu-fan

        You are so right. The writing has been on the wall for some time. Horseracing has been dwindling and if a racetrack cannot attract enough fans and their money, it’s not going to stay open. I was listening to Jeff Siegel, this morning, and he made a comment that, in recent years, he didn’t like going to HP because he remembers the track as it used to be–but, isn’t anymore. He said it was depressing to see it become run-down. Interestingly, more people are now showing up on that track since the announcement of its pending closure. Could that be part of the problem? There is virtually no publicity or advertising by racetracks that I have seen. And–out of slight, out of mind. But, perhaps, this may become the wake-up call for California racing as well as for racing elsewhere. Time to do things differently than what has been occuring; otherwise, other tracks will be facing the same unfortunate outcome.

        • s

          Wow, you are a total dweeb and an unsympatetic one at that. You appear to know absolutely nothing about racing, yet are prepared to offer advice to the industry and also rap their knuckles. Go criticize yoursef, harshly.

  • Don Reed

    If anyone regrets losing a racetrack that is in an area that no one wants to go to, their delusion is in turn regretted.

    I welcome this event. Finally, the speculation (non-real estate-oriented) is OVER.

    And if CA racing can’t rebound from this, frankly, it doesn’t deserve to exist.

    Now: If we could only obliterate racing’s national eyesore, Aqueduct.

    • GregS

      If no one wants to go there then why is the real estate worth so much?

      • Don Reed

        It’s right next to a major airport. Storage facilities, etc, of the type that surround transportation hubs are very profitable businesses.

        • GregS

          Storage facilities? They are not trying to develop storage facilities, they want to build housing. Do you even know how far away the track is from LAX?

          • Don Reed

            I know exactly where both are. The airport is not far away. And the area (the track land) is utterly unsuited for human residential housing.
            Don’t take my word for it. When the time comes when the new housing is available, by all means, put a down payment on one of their cheeseframes they’ve build.

    • swiss305

      Greg is right. If no one wants to go there, who wants to LIVE there? Have you looked at the specs for the development? They deny that it’s under the approach to LAX, will have public parks in the middle and will charge megabucks for the houses and condos. And I have no idea why you think the economy in California and the real estate market will support this project. Jobs and businesses are leaving the state. I’d rather see Hollywood Park and horseracing marketed properly and regulated sufficiently and that big piece of property left as open a space as it is.

    • MightveBen

      Pimlico preempts Aqueduct.

  • Richard C

    One day in this nation of fractured jigsaw puzzles that is the racing scene – after so much of the promised racino windfall proves to be an illusion and redevelopment becomes the name of the game – there won’t be anyone left in the building to turn the lights out.

  • The day professional flat racing bans illegal drugs and other methods (milkshaking) and running fragile colts on spindle legs and watch hundreds of hundreds of young horses go down fractured, euthanised with nary a care (and believe me, it’s nary a care as these horses are insured if they die racing), then I will lament the passing of race tracks. The unknown numbers of beautifully bred horses who have suffered a short and brutal life at the race tracks is stunning. I cite, way up there, Sunland Park. Horses are killed by the truckload and frankly, my dear, no one gives a damn.

    • GPtom

      Many 2 yos break down in workouts before they even make it to the racetrack and the public is not even aware of this. I’ll tell you how many—hundreds, and most of them are under the care of big name trainers. They know they’ll get more 2yos to take their place.
      It’s disgusting.

    • khambat

      It is said that the unhappy derive pleasure from the losses of others. My thoughts to those whom Hollywood Park brought pleasure, purpose or employment. My well-wishes to those who depended on HP for employment.

      • nu-fan

        When businesses close, it is sad for their employees. It is almost like a death in the family for many. They’ve worked together and spent more time with fellow employees than many have spent with their own families. But, that has always been the way that things have worked. It’s called “change” and things never remain the same. Some of these employees may be willing to relocate closer to SA or, even, to GGF. Why would the horseracing industry think that they are immune to the same sacrifices faced by so many in other industries? But, yes, it is still sad and I, too, hope that HP does what it can to help their employees find other jobs by having career counseling available to these displaced employees.

  • What a damned shame.

  • jimmy
    • GregS

      Go check out an aerial photo…five years and there isn’t much there which is pretty amazing for a much better neighborhood next to a commuter line.

      • Jimmy

        Funny, still see the oval! Wonder how old the arial shots are? I can’t find the construction they have pictures of. Either way, not sure who’s looking to buy in the neighborhood BHP resides in.

        • GregS

          It says 2013 at the bottom on Google but who knows how accurate that is. Either way, it sat a long time in a much more promising area for housing than Inglewood.

  • NOBODY is lining up to move into Inglewood….I hope Libeau and his ilk lose their collective butts on this and rot somewhere.

    • Don Reed

      You’ve got that right. Who would want to live so close to a major, always-active (passenger and cargo) airport?!

    • nisiedixie

      So true it is full of poor people,hookers and drug dealers, the rest are
      low income malls, if anyone has seen Inglewood recently they would be shocked the only thing good about Inglewood was Hollywood Park NOONE is going to willingly move to Inglewood, too much riff raff and who wants toile that close to LAX??? Veryverybad move developers

  • FourCats

    “Despite the Hollywood Park Land Company financially supporting two statewide initiatives with varying degrees of support from other segments of the racing industry, the attempts to upgrade the business model were not successful.”
    This is nonsense. There have been very few real attempts by almost any track in the country to upgrade the business model. That would have required promoting and advertising racing, running a top notch facility, providing top-notch customer service and doing other basic business practices that you would invariably see at a successful business. What is really being stated here is that they didn’t get slots; not that they really tried to make racing work.

    • Kris

      You said it all.

    • Jsmilth

      completely agree. I laughed when I read ‘attempts to upgrade’ what attempts?
      and just who is going to live in this fabulous new housing? Shops? They might want to walk around the corner on Century before calling Target etc. Why not build some housing on that huge chunk of unused parking lot between the track and Forum, see if it sells before ripping the track out. What happened to Madison Square Garden renovating the Forum? Anyone know if they are doing it?

    • Save Hollywood Park

      Yet no one rally made the attempt to get instant racing games, which could essentially have been a near savior for CA racing. Just look at the huge success they have been where they exist. This could have succeeded – IF ONLY SOMEONE HAD PURSUED IT!!! Amazing how people in the industry in CA are so limited in their knowledge and ideas of what can be done to improve racing here. On-line poker, anyone? Please. AAARRRGGHHHH!!!

    • nu-fan

      Thank you! You are right. There is virtually no advertising or promotions to gain new fans by racetracks. Now that HP has been in the news about its closing, there are more people showing up to go and enjoy the track, perhaps, for their last time. Business model? What business model? Really well-run companies know how to adapt to changing economic and other business variables. Horseracing is run like it always has and that is using decades old and out-of-date business concepts. For those who think this is a HP issue: It isn’t. It is a foretelling of what will occur to other tracks regardless of which state they are located in. Simulcasting is just one nail in the coffin of horseracing. It cannibilized the sport by no longer making it required that fans go to the races in order to wager. And, with that, fan erosion occurred. Now, many just go to one of the multitude of Indian casinos that have sprung up in recent years–and, those have relatively low expenses compared to maintaining a racetrack.

  • antmanfan

    Thanks fo Churchill Downs for ruining racing for California race fans…….I have an idea, why now change the Derby to Keeneland and give them a taste of their own medicine. I hate Churchill Downs for what they have done to California racing,

    • I live in louisville and am a huge hr fan i can’t stand CD they are so far away from what built them in the first place it;s mind boggling .

      • indyone

        Does anyone in their right mind still like CD?

        • Don Reed

          The corporation? No. I would love to see Oaklawn Park launch a successful hostile takeover of CDI. Betcha they could pull it off, too.

          • Jahura2

            Churchill sold this track 8 years ago and its now their fault HP is a dump and is closing? Sorry but I fail to see the connection.

  • Big Red

    If HP were an animal, it would have been put down years ago.
    Who in their right mind would pay 10 bucks to sit in filth, rub elbows with the bottom of the human race, and watch non-competitive 5 horse fields with their main objective of not breaking down.
    The real fact is that without some “big” days and handouts from the slots (don’t expect this to last forever), racing can not survive.
    If the “game” is not re-invented, we can only expect more tracks to close.

  • Noelle

    The phrase “economic view” is hardly consistent with “higher and better”.

  • swaps55

    It really might benefit Calilfornia racing better overall if the Hollywood Park season were transferred to Golden Gate and if ultimately the racing year in California were divided about equally between the north and south. Off track betting sites make onsite attendance no longer necessary. Strengthen the quality of racing in the north by enhancing it as a more major circuit – which it would be if the higher quality horses shipped north on a seasonal basis. How Churchill Downs treated Hollywood Park as a short term asset calls up the memory of Apollo taking over Santa Anita decades ago just to get its hands on the split REIT status. But then the Strub family didn’t help when it suspended the dividend, and I had calculated back then the forfeited dividend to shareholders about matched the money SA companies had “loaned” to some family members so they could start their own businesses. Magna Entertainment, Spendthrift Farm etc… racing is littered with short term buyouts, asset plays, mis-managements etc.

    • As noted in my post below, we likely will have to have a split so there are enough horses to have five-day weeks almost year-round. Since as I have since found out Del Mar probably can’t move up the start of their meet, one thing that might have to happen is a reorganization of the California fairs, with Fairplex moved off its traditional September dates to the three weeks ahead of the start of Del Mar’s season in late June and early-to-mid July while the Northern California fairs all run a bit later than at present, going perhaps into late September-early October (minimally overlapping the start of the fall meet at Santa Anita). If that happened, then Del Mar’s meet would begin when it does now but would be extended with seven additional days at the end, after Labor Day running Friday-Saturday-Sunday only for two weeks and the final week being Friday and Saturday only (with first post after Labor Day moved up to 1:00 PM local time all days and 12 races each day, the final day in this scenario at Del Mar in 2014 for the regular meet would be Sept. 20 and Santa Anita starting six days later).

    • Save Hollywood Park

      And what happens when Stronach decides to sell GG the next time someone comes looking – as recently happened?

  • Tod Adamson

    Maybe they could save it by putting a “Historical Property” tag on it or require an Environmental Impact study to be performed.

    • Even if they do save it, how much longer will it be viable as a racetrack?

      The real problem is the horse shortage. With or without Hollywood closing, that is going to continue to where the consolidation of Northern and Southern California into one circuit (except when Del Mar and the No. Cal fairs are running in the summer) seems to be inevitable.

      • nu-fan

        Is there a shortage of horses or a shortage of owners of horses who are interested in spending money on a declining sport? And, I agree with your assessment of how the state will operate its racing calendar.

    • Save Hollywood Park

      They already did this…and of course since the developer is the one who commissioned the EIR, it’s findings are in favor of the development – surprised?. It SHOULD be listed as a historical landmark, based on what the definition of that actually is….yet no one was willing to pursue this.
      I still cannot believe the city let this happen. They must have been paid off.

    • nisiedixie

      They tried this I signed the petition today is the last day for HP so obviously it did not work

  • harry

    Closing of Hollywood Park will have a devastating effect on California horse racing forever. So much history with some of the greatest horses to ever run competing at Hollywood Park for years and years. Yesterdays announcement of closing of Hollywood Park hurt racing from coast to coast. Now maybe the CHRB will wake up and somehow try to make some decisions to help horsemen find somewhere to stable and train horse. Closing day in December will be a sad sad sad day for horse racing coast to coast.

    • Save Hollywood Park

      Maybe the CHRB can somehow step in to prevent this…isn’t racing ultimately the State’s jurisdiction?? Maybe Gov. Brown can stop it…especially since closing HP will kill an entire industry.

      • nu-fan

        You’ve got to be kidding? Gov. Brown is too busy trying to get that stupid high-speed train system going. Of course, this may be his “Rose Bird” moment. Seems to need to have one hair-brained idea with every tenure as governor. And, no HP will not kill the horseracing industry. It’s been sliding to its own death by its own ineptitude over many years with or without that track.

    • nu-fan

      Maybe, not. HP has been declining and a declining business does not necessarily assume that it will have any negative impact, when it closes, on their local economy. Far from it. If they redevelop that property to bring in more businesses and, undoubtedly, with higher paying jobs than what horseracing pays, it will have a positive result. The past is just that: the past. HP is no longer the track that it once was. Bet that is true about many–if not most–racetracks throughout the country. But, yes, it will be very sad to see it closed. Lots of great memories for so many people! I just hope that SA can take some of the memorabilia and find a home for it there–not only for the historical value but, also, as a constant reminder of what happens when a business does not do what is necessary to remain viable in today’s society.

  • Indulto

    With apologies to Paul Simon:

    Well here’s to you, Mr. Fancher
    Hollywood Park is finally going to close (Wo, wo, wo)
    What did you do, Mr. Fancher
    For Inglewood pols to let you get your way?
    (Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)

    We’d like to know a little bit about you for the record
    We’d like to know why Terry tears down racetracks
    Look around you all you see are glaring, angry eyes
    Stroll around the grounds you’re changing for the worse

    And ask yourself, Mr. Fancher
    What gives you the right to ruin lives? (Wo, wo, wo)
    How do you sleep, Mr. Fancher
    Knowing what you’re trying to take away?
    (Hey, hey, hey… hey, hey, hey)

    Turn it into a hiding place where no one ever goes
    Make it look as if it can’t make money
    It’s hardly a secret, you’re ending a way of life
    Most of all, you’re stealing it from our kids

    Coo, coo, ca-choo, Mr. Fancher
    When did you start targeting people’s pastimes? (Wo, wo, wo)
    Build your own dreams, Mr. Fancher
    Without bulldozing those of others
    (Hey, hey, hey… hey, hey, hey)

    Sitting in the stands on a Sunday afternoon
    Soon to be an upper-class fortress
    Only rich folks in and out, Inglewood got to choose
    Ev’ry way you look at it, taxpayers lose

    Where will you go, Native Diver
    A city and state have turned their backs on you (Woo, woo, woo)
    What’s that you say, Mr. Fancher
    You’ve flattened Bay Meadows and now it’s Hollywood’s turn
    (Hey, hey, hey… hey, hey, hey)

  • justin Anderson

    a one time California looks like the leader in horse racing, now with the closure of Hollywood…the history will say that New York and Florida are ways better than California. Shame on you… I just never understand who they can buy a 3 million dollar horse in a sale.. and how they can’t put all the money together to save one historical race track. This is the beginning of the end of horse racing in California

  • nisiedixie

    So sad I live out here and have such great memories of Hollywood Park, I understand it is about economics, but to me this is a greedy thing to do…..shame on the developers for their greed

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