Monday, November 10, 2008

70 Years of Racing History at Hollywood Park

View of Hollywood Park Grandstand from the Far Turn.

This year, Hollywood Park is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. The Inglewood track's history is linked to some of Hollywood's elite and famous. It was formed under the chairmanship of Jack L. Warner of the Warner Bros. film corporation, and its original shareholders included many stars, directors and producers of the film world, including Al Jolson, Joan Blondell, Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, Sam Goldwyn, Ralph Bellamy, and Wallace Beery. The historic track opened on June 10, 1938. The grand old track can boast many historic firsts including:

  • Citation became racing's first million-dollar earner by winning the 1951 Hollywood Gold Cup.
  • The Pick Six wager was introduced at Hollywood Park on June 7, 1980.
  • Hollywood Park pioneered the Exacta wager in 1971.
  • Sunday racing was introduced to California at Hollywood Park on April 15, 1973.
  • The inaugural Breeders' Cup was held at Hollywood Park, before a crowd of 64,625 (plus an estimated 50 million viewers).

Coincidentally, as fellow blogger Trackside View points out, Gulfstream Park in Florida is also celebrating its 70th year, when it opens its meet on January 3, 2009.

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