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Hollywood Park racetrack to close at year's end

May 9, 2013 at 4:59 PM

INGLEWOOD, Calif., May 9 (UPI) -- Hollywood Park, site of the first running of the Breeders' Cup World Championships, will close forever at the end of the year.

The track and stable area, less than 2 miles east on Century Boulevard from Los Angeles International Airport, will be developed for other uses by the Hollywood Park Land Co., which purchased the facility from Churchill Downs in 2005.

Live racing is currently under way at Hollywood Park through July 14. The autumn meet is scheduled to begin Nov. 7 and run through Dec. 22. Track officials said the stable area is expected to close by the end of the year.

The decision to close the track was not unexpected. Several options have been under consideration for rearranging the Southern California racing schedule for 2014, including expanding racing dates at Santa Anita and Del Mar and developing the area's county fair racing schedule.

The first running of the Breeders' Cup took place at Hollywood Park in 1984 and the races have returned twice since.

The track opened in 1938 under the ownership of film legends Jack and Harry Warner. The list of owners, trainers, jockeys and horses who have walked the executive suite, prowled the backstretch and raced on the track is a virtual "who's who" of American racing.

Seattle Slew finished fourth in the 1977 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park, just three weeks after becoming the undefeated winner of the Triple Crown. John Henry, Seabiscuit, Citation, Round Table, Ack Ack, Affirmed, Ferdinand, Cigar and Zenyatta all demonstrated their prowess on the oval.

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