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  #1  
Old 13th December 2013, 12:38.06 PM
km km is offline
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Tearing Down Hollywood Park

Tearing down historic Hollywood Park has become a symbol of the decline of horse racing for the media. This is nonsense. One writer even stating that closing HOL is the same as shuttering Fenway Park. A more realistic analogy would be leveling of old Tiger Stadium or the demise of the Montreal Expos. Or maybe even the closing the of Hialeah Park. None of these events had a major impact in the long run.

The track has been in steep decline since off track betting was legalized because it is located in an area where few horseplayers or anyone else would want to go for entertainment. Near LAX and heavily congested freeways; the Lakers and Kings have long since moved from the Forum next door; the surrounding neighborhood is high crime.

There are major environmental issues that will cost millions to resolve and years to clean up. The track surface itself cannot be bulldozed. The Cushion artificial surface must be removed and disposed of or transferred to another facility. A huge undertaking. The 75 year old grandstand has "toxic" written all over it with asbestos, old plumbing and sewage, lead paint. and wood rot. It can't just be buried. Same goes for the backstretch clean up.

The Bay Meadows debacle (pile of rubble left for years) was one reason Hollywood stayed open as long as it did. And in spite of everything, HOL actually made a decent comeback and became profitable. The artificial track proving to be one of the best and safest yet installed.

All in all, it's probably a good thing to carefully tear down the massive infrastructure and start the clean up. A new OTB will be built alongside the popular Hollywood Park poker casino. The local bettors will have easy access to bet horses. The horse racing OTB situation in California has been a success with sports bars and poker casinos as the backdrop. The combined exposure works.

With HOL ending, Horse racing in SoCal will be changed for good, but I'm predicting this will be a net positive for the sport both in California and nationally.
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  #2  
Old 15th December 2013, 12:28.29 AM
david lewis david lewis is offline
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Ken,
Thanks for the positive, informative and insightful input, it has made me feel much more positive and my guess is likewise for others,

Dave
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  #3  
Old 15th December 2013, 07:08.02 AM
Number Theory Number Theory is offline
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A nice article on the end of Hollywood Park from the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/15/sp...all&ref=sports
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  #4  
Old 16th December 2013, 02:04.57 PM
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For me it sucks. It was always my #2 money making track behind only Del Mar. I have always hated SA probably partially because I don't play winter racing, HRTV grainy feed sucks and their announcers put me to sleep(whereas TVG announcers just irritate me ). HP was always the "start" to my season and I loved the late night(for us east coast people) Friday night. College basketball to HP to Del Mar to football always fit. I for one will miss HP. 6 month SA meet? Ugh. I guess I will jump in after college basketball and hope it isn't awful.
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Old 16th December 2013, 03:03.31 PM
ReplayRandall ReplayRandall is offline
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Del Mar Master- Mike T

I will allow Ken Massa to give you my contact info, if for a fee, you can show me how to beat Del Mar now. I used to beat it when it was dirt. You may be one of a select few to currently state, "The number #1 track I beat is Del Mar......
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  #6  
Old 16th December 2013, 05:39.01 PM
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I agree with everything you said MT. Those Friday nights at HOL were fun, especially for those bettors in the CST or EST, wagering on quality horses after midnight was cool. The lack of diversity in the SoCal circuit will create a marathon meet for SA, and as you say, get real old and stale by April. The grass is cut short and tight, but by May it will be like running on a pool table surface.

We'll miss HOL, but the closure was inevitable. So it will be similar to losing the LA Rams and no more NFL in the LA area. At first it seems like a huge wound. But it will heal and we move on and barely notice by this time next year.
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Old 18th December 2013, 07:55.43 AM
carl rasak carl rasak is offline
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Angry Hollypark RIP

Hollypark memories....

Having lived 20 minutes from Hollypark...here are some memories.

* Hitting my first exacta ..when the min bet was $5 and only offered on the 5th, 7th, and 9th..
Horses were Hill Dreamer ( El Pico ranch) and Hill Dreamer riden by the Shoe ..payout was north
of $500...funded my summer of 1970

* Watching Sandy Hawley on a horses called Why More Worry have a 5 length lead at the 1/8 pole on the grass course
and shies from a right hand whip...jumps the rail and finishes with rider up between the rail
and the tote board....was DQ'ED for leaving the course ( with my Money)

*The famous photo finish between Knighlander and El Extrano that was misread by the placing judges
and the wrong result was posted and deemed official. There was a class action law suit to overturn.
The suit was successful and those that kept their tickets were paid months later

*The early days of the pick 6 ..brought to us courtesy of Marge Everett...This wager was hatched at
Caliente racetrack in Tijuana known as the 5-10.

* The build-up and result of Seattle Slew coming to Hollypark to be beaten by J.O. Tobin
Who took the field wire to wire ( El Pico ranch again)
Shoe up and the law suit that resulted that day when Jean Cruget's wife ( rider of Seattle Slew)
Slapping Patsy Tomiosso ( Usher who monitored the pass thru between the clubhouse and the turf
club) for not letting her go into the turf club with a hand stamp. Of couse being a French Lady she
used her gloves....Tomiosso initiated the suit...and was able to retire with the settlement.

* The match race of the decade Typecast Vs Convience ( suggest you peak at UTUBE for this race
* The match race between Indulto ( Fastest sprinter on the grounds and a Quarter horse)
* The ill fated match race between Miss Musket and Chris Everette

* Breeders cup #1 and the Dq of P.Val on a 40-1 shot in the Juvinal ( with my $ )

* Watching the likes of Mikey Rooney, Jack Klugman, Jim Healy...etc Avid players

* Following and working in the summer time for The bald Eagle ( Charley Whittingham)
and his total dominance of the stakes races.

* Following a young upstart from NY Bobby Frankel come to Southern California and schooling
the backside on the Claim and Drop. RIP

* Watching the formatable Marge Everette bring fear and tears to grown men that were under her
employ.

* Having my young Daughter on my shoulders as we went to visit our horses.

* Being in the winners circle taking a picture with one of our horses and thinking that ..it doesn't
get any better than this!!


The Track of The Lakes and Flowers .......
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  #8  
Old 18th December 2013, 11:10.44 AM
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Great list Carl, thanks for posting. I share many of those same memories having been a regular at HOL for two decades starting in 1976 as a teenager. Its going to be melancholy thinking about the "good old days" at Hollywood Park as the final curtain comes down on Sunday.
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  #9  
Old 18th December 2013, 12:07.12 PM
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Ken:

Since you posted today, I assume you were not the California Mega Millions winner.

You could have bought Hollywood Park!
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  #10  
Old 18th December 2013, 05:06.13 PM
Tom Barrister Tom Barrister is offline
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So the plan is to run Santa Anita all year, except when they go to Del Mar, until Los Alamitos extends its track?
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  #11  
Old 18th December 2013, 06:17.26 PM
JMD JMD is offline
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Tom: The SoCal racing schedule for 2014 as posted on the CHRB web site is:

Santa Anita 12/26/13 – 07/02/14
Los Alamitos 07/03/14 - 07/13/14
Del Mar 07/16/14 - 09/03/14
Fairplex 09/04/14 - 09/24/14
Santa Anita 09/25/14 - 11/02/14
Del Mar 11/05/14 - 12/03/14
Los Alamitos 12/04/14 - 12/21/14

Los Al had their permits approved for the 1 mile track expansion last Monday and went to work grading the next day. They claim the track expansion will be ready in 6 weeks, in time for thoroughbreds who will be stabled there beginning Feb 1. Seems pretty sporty...I guess time will tell.

Carl: Enjoyed your post. I first went to Hollywood in 1973...first trip to the races the week after Secretariat won the Derby. Many happy memories and great times over the years watching some of the greats...Cougar II...Seattle Slew...Exceller...Vigors...Affirmed...Spectacular Bid...Landaluce...John Henry...Ferdinand...Alysheba...Zenyatta...and the list goes on. It's time is past though...I live 10 minutes away and get over there once a year...far too depressing in its current state.

Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same...next month the "reborn" Fabulous Forum opens its doors across Pincay Drive from Hollywood Park; I'll be there to see the Eagles play. Sadly, doesn't look like lightning will strike twice with a "reborn" Hollywood Park, though. I guess we'll see how the redevelopment plan carries out in years to come.
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  #12  
Old 20th December 2013, 03:00.44 AM
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Thought others might find the attached as interesting as I did...it is the Historic Resources Technical Report prepared for Hollywood Park and included as part of its plan approvals for the development project on the City of Inglewood web site:

http://cityofinglewood.org/pdfs/plan...PPENDIXE-1.pdf

Includes a very detailed history of the racetrack and architecture and many many pictures...lots of history and nostalgia. Steve Byk mentioned it earlier this week on one of his Hollywood Park retrospectives on his radio show.
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  #13  
Old 21st December 2013, 06:50.50 PM
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Excellent article by Matt Hegarty in the Daily Racing Form. Lots of well researched facts and details regarding the closure. Also the last 2 paragraphs are a summary of the casino/horse racing situation with what he sees as bad news for VA and TX.

http://www.drf.com/news/hollywood-pa...historic-track

What he won't write about is this =

These track closures and loss of live gate at all tracks must putting knives in the back of the printed DRF too. It's tough all over for print media anyway with newspapers and magazines going belly up. They have gone to a 'comic book' format, but the price is excessive for a casual fan. Most regular players know where to get better information at a lower cost. So who is left to buy the 'Form at the Liquor Store? How does DRF survive?
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Old 21st December 2013, 09:14.57 PM
Tom Barrister Tom Barrister is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by km View Post
How does DRF survive?

They have about five more years. They waited too long to go digital.
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  #15  
Old 23rd December 2013, 06:56.36 AM
carl rasak carl rasak is offline
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Ode' to Hollywood Park

"That's a Wrap"
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  #16  
Old 24th December 2013, 01:18.39 PM
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Unhappy

Quote:
Excellent article by Matt Hegarty in the Daily Racing Form
Great article KM. With all the budget issues in CA you would think the State would be jumping at the opportunity to get into the Gambling business. Instead they forfeit the lion share of the gambling profits to the Indian reservations. I'm thinking someone got paid. I can't believe the State employees’ unions would not push for CA to take up gambling as well - they know the state needs the money to keep up with their pensions.

I guess I'm a sentimental fool, but Hollywood Park was a monument of my handicapping life. They must have had tremendous overhead, not to be able to make money with three of the biggest wagering days (The Triple Crown) of the year occurring while they were running live.

I agree with you Ken, the location killed that track over the years. Build that track in the OC and it would be on par with SA.

I'm no expert on urban renewal, but if I had a million to spend on a Condo, I would not buy one in Inglewood on the approach end of one of the busiest airports in the world. Someone pointed out to me that urban renewal is successful in a lot of locations like NYC. Perhaps, and again I'm no expert on the subject. But I feel comparing urban renewal in NYC and Socal are apples to oranges.
NYC (especially Manhattan) are small in terms of acreage, there’s no place else to go if you want to stay in Manhattan. Socal is immense and spread out, with lots of desirable locations up and down the coast or in close proximity to the coast. Urban Renewal could revise Inglewood but I think it will take decades to do so. Maybe Inglewood will become a shopping destination for wealth foreigners who want to fly in and shop then fly out. I somehow don’t see the wealth in Hollywood and the OC making the trip.

My flag is at half mast.
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  #17  
Old 24th December 2013, 01:59.09 PM
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Lots of interesting posts on HOL. The strangest part of urban Renewal is that they will probably not only flatten the race track, but the surrounding high crime area which has been mentioned. Once that is completed then Inglewood may go back to its glory days of the 'place to live' and just the kind of area you would build a race track
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  #18  
Old 24th December 2013, 04:33.25 PM
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Excellent discussion delay' and way'

I grew up in that area my parents lived and worked in Inglewood. Went to Kindergarten at Purche Ave. School in Gardena just a few miles away from the track. Hollywood Park was iconic in those days as much as Dodger Stadium. We moved to OC when I was 6, but they would still go the track with friends for many years.

Last night Candlestick Park in San Francisco also dropped the curtain and the 49ers have likely played their last game there. Anaheim Stadium may be going the same route as it was also built in the 60s. We see this transition over and over in sports now with a 20-30 year shelf life for most stadiums.

Los Al, Santa Anita and Del Mar have far more community support. They all have surrounding shopping areas already and are in high socio-economic suburban neighborhoods that would strongly oppose major development. Fairplex is fixed because it is part of the LA County Fair property and cannot be sold without a major political storm. So a consolidation of the horse racing in SoCal is a good thing. Without slots, the tracks will have to work harder to make the sport viable; and I think they will.
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Old 24th December 2013, 06:32.38 PM
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Great article from last week by Tim Osterman

http://www.todaysracingdigest.com/blog/?p=727
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Old 24th December 2013, 06:37.05 PM
delayjf delayjf is offline
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Quote:
Anaheim Stadium may be going the same route as it was also built in the 60s
.

The Atlanta Braves are looking at building a new stadium, the one they have now is only 14 years old.
St. Louis's Bush stadium is a great example of renovating the old 1960 all purpose stadiums - Anaheim could do the same.

Quote:
but the surrounding high crime area which has been mentioned.
Isn't that entire area including the surrounding cities a high crime area?
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  #21  
Old 25th December 2013, 08:31.28 AM
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All of that sounds like Hialeah. I really enjoyed the setting of the track, and of course the Flamingos.
The road to get there was scary...so scary, someone tried to get money to build a special road to the track. But, in the end Gulfstream won, turned the place into a slot machine store that has a little horse racing if you can find it.

We don't there any more.
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Old 25th December 2013, 02:40.27 PM
NWearner NWearner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delayjf View Post
.

The Atlanta Braves are looking at building a new stadium, the one they have now is only 14 years old.
St. Louis's Bush stadium is a great example of renovating the old 1960 all purpose stadiums - Anaheim could do the same.


Isn't that entire area including the surrounding cities a high crime area?
Busch Stadium is not a renovation. It is an entirely new stadium, but has the same name as it's predecessor. Actually, it is known as Busch Stadium III.
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  #23  
Old 4th January 2014, 01:35.45 PM
Gary Brous Gary Brous is offline
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Hollywood Park Prop Bet

First street gang to monopolize drug trade in new Hollywood Park Housing Community?


Crypts -200

Bloods +150
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