Updated on 01/17/2013 5:51PM

Hollywood Park commits to running fall meet


ARCADIA, Calif. – Betfair Hollywood Park will run a fall meeting in November and December, ending months of speculation whether the track would continue to conduct racing or be closed for development at the end of the summer.

In a brief speech to the racing board, track president Jack Liebau said, “We can confirm that Hollywood Park will run the fall dates.”

The seven-week fall meeting is scheduled from Nov. 6 through Dec. 22.

Liebau did not state whether the track would operate in 2014, or be closed and developed for residential and commercial uses.

After Thursday’s meeting, he said that Hollywood Park’s decision to race this fall was “a close call.”

Liebau said that Hollywood Park officials reached the decision at the end of December after holding discussions with Los Alamitos owner Ed Allred about a potential expansion of his Orange County track.

“Dr. Allred said he would need more time,” Liebau said.

Los Alamitos officials have expressed an interest in expanding its five-eighth-mile track and building additional stables to accommodate Thoroughbred racing in the event of Hollywood Park’s closure, but has not released any formal plans. Los Alamitos would need approximately 12 months to complete the expansion, according to a person familiar with the potential plans.

There is a chance that Fairplex Park in Pomona could expand its facility to accommodate a longer meeting.

Hollywood Park’s decision was met with support from the Thoroughbred Owners of California.

“We hope they run beyond 2013,” TOC president Lou Raffetto told the racing board.

“We think it’s important that the industry in general specifically focus on 2014. We need to look ahead. There are no formal proposals with Los Al and Fairplex. We continue to have discussions with those entities.”