Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hollywood Park the Final Resting Place for Three Great Racehorses

In its 70-year history, Hollywood Park has seen many of horseracing's greats come and go. Three of them remained to call Hollywood Park their final resting place: Native Diver, Landaluce, and Great Communicator. Native Diver is buried beneath a monument in his honor in the saddling paddock. Landaluce and Great Communicator are buried in the Infield.

Landaluce's grave marker in the Infield at Hollywood Park.

Landaluce, a 1982 filly by Seattle Slew, raced only at two, and was unbeaten in 5 starts. She was trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Laffit Pincay, Jr. Landaluce won the Grade 2 Hollywood Lassie Stakes by an incredible 21 lengths, in a final time of 1:08 for the 6 furlongs. It was the greatest margin of victory ever by a two-year-old at Hollywood Park. Her other victories included the Del Mar Debutante Stakes, the Grade 2 Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita, and the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita.

Sadly, she became ill with Colitis X and died December 11, 1982. Landaluce was named Champion Two-Year-Old Filly for 1982, the award given posthumously. The Hollywood Lassie Stakes was renamed the Landaluce Stakes in her honor.

Great Communicator's grave marker lies only a few feet from that of Landaluce.

Great Communicator, a 1983 bay gelding by Key to the Kingdom, was the winner of the 1988 Breeders Cup Turf - and the first gelding to score in any Breeders Cup race. Trained by Thad Ackel, Great Communicator had consecutive 1988 and 1989 victories in the Hollywood Turf Cup, the San Juan Capistrano, and the San Luis Obispo Handicap. His other victories included the Golden Gate Handicap, the San Marcos, and the Henry P. Russell Handicap. Great Communicator suffered a breakdown in the 1990 Carleton F. Burke Handicap at Santa Anita and had to be euthanized.


coeurdefer said...

With the inevitability that HP will be plowed under (and this breaks my heart), I've accepted the reality that it will close. The next concern I had was for the racing giants that were interred there. Also the monuments etc. I hope these "developers" have the foresight to find an appropriate arrangement and honored placement for these great horses, artworks and memorabilia.

As a kid, I loved that track...used to take Mrs. Everett up and down the elevator at the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel...I never said a word (very imposing woman).


Anonymous said...

Reading this, I wonder how the graves will be handled as well. How does one even inquire? The company doing the developing may subcontract the actual work.

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