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Dec 27, 2013

'That's a wrap' as Hollywood Park goes out in style


Inglewood, CA ( - Thirty years ago. Hollywood Park was considered in such high esteem that it had the privilege of hosting the very first Breeders' Cup in 1984. The track would then host two more Breeders' Cups in 1987 and 1997.

The track wasn't given a chance to host any more World Championships. The historic track that opened on June 10, 1938 closed for good Sunday, Dec. 22.

"Thanks for the magical moments and everlasting memories," Breeders' Cup posted on Twitter.

Eleven races were run on the final day at Hollywood Park. The first and last races were both 1 1/16 miles on the turf course.

Maxx the Giant won the day's first race, a $45,000 Maiden Special Weight for 3-year-olds and up. Rafael Bejarano was the winning jockey for trainer James Cassidy and owners Fontana Racing and Deron Pearson.

The last race to be run at Hollywood Park was decided by a photo-finish. Woodmans Luck nosed out Depreciable in the $50,000 starter allowance. Corey Nakatani was the last jockey to win a race at the track for trainer Vladimir Cerin and owners Holly and David Wilson.

"As they turn past the barns for the final time. Stables that have housed racing immortals, like Seabiscuit, and Citation, and Swaps and Native Diver," track announcer Vic Stauffer said as he called the final race. "Affirmed, John Henry, Lava Man and Zenyatta."

The feature race on the final Hollywood Park program was the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes. The seven-furlong stakes, restricted to 2-year-olds bred or sired in California, was taken by 2-1 favorite California Chrome and jockey Victor Espinoza.

Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome drew away down the stretch to win by 6 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:22.12 on the synthetic main track. The chestnut colt notched his third win in seven starts for owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn.

On Saturday, Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer offered his feelings on the loss of the historic racetrack.

"Considering this is the end (of Hollywood Park) makes me sad," Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said on the track's next to last day, "but I've had a lot of good luck here and won a lot races. I'm going to be sorry to see Hollywood Park go."

Hollywood Park's barn area will close permanently at the end of January. All horses stabled there will have to be relocated somewhere else and the last connection to horse racing will fade away.

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