12/12/2013 2:31PM

Hollywood Park makes plans for auction, moving horse graves

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Betfair Hollywood Park will be dismantled rapidly after the final day of racing in track history on Dec.  22.

Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau said earlier this week that the track is making plans to hold a general auction of its holdings in January; that some basic equipment will be moved to Los Alamitos, which will host five weeks of Thoroughbred racing for the first time in 2014; and that arrangements have been made to move the graves of the prominent racehorses Landaluce and Native Diver who are buried on the property. The remains of Great Communicator, the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner, also will be relocated, but a site has not been determined.

Hollywood Park will be developed for residential and commercial uses in 2014. After the Dec. 22 closing day of the current meeting, the grandstand will no longer be used. Simulcasting will shift to the adjacent casino, which is being remodeled to accommodate more racing customers.

An auction of racetrack equipment, ranging from cups and saucers to tractors, will be held on a weekend in January. Liebau said the date and catalog of items has not been finalized.

Liebau said some equipment from the turf club and grandstand will be sent to Los Alamitos. The items bound for Los Alamitos are wide-ranging, from small televisions on turf club tables to the rubber bricks in the paddock, which will be used in a refurbishment of the Los Alamitos paddock.

Liebau said he expects widespread public interest in the Hollywood Park auction. He conducted a similar event after the closing of Bay Meadows racetrack in San Mateo, Calif., in 2008.

“It was a huge success,” Liebau said.

Aside from the auction, the massive marble statute that commemorates the winners of the Hollywood Gold Cup will remain on the property in a park setting to be determined.

“It will be maintained,” Liebau said.

The graves of Native Diver, winner of three consecutive Hollywood Gold Cups from 1965-67, and Landaluce, the champion 2-year-old filly of 1982, will be relocated. Native Diver will be moved to Del Mar, while the remains of Landaluce will be moved to Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky.

“That is where she was bred,” Liebau said.

The timeline of when the grandstand will be demolished is not known, Liebau said. In early 2014, the process of dismantling the interior of the grandstand will begin. Hollywood Park would typically start its spring-summer meeting in late April. By that time of 2014, Liebau said he “doubted” that the grandstand would remain in place.

It also will take months to dismantle the barn area. Stables will remain on the backstretch through the end of January when horse must be sent to other racetracks in Southern California. Training will end Jan. 31.

The future of the synthetic track surface is unclear, Liebau said. The material must be removed for environmental purposes.

“At this point, we don’t know what will happen,” he said of the racing surface. “There have been inquiries from training centers and farms.”

Liebau said Hollywood Park does not have extensive ceremonies planned for the Dec. 22 closing day.

He said that all-sources handle at the meeting was down “2 or 3 percent” through last Sunday.

Liebau said he expects “a bump” in ontrack attendance for the final three days of the meeting, Dec. 20-22, as racing fans have their final days at the 75-year-old track.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liebau is on a winning streak... to destroying some of the most historic racetracks in CA. Bay Meadows was on an old airfield and Hollywood Park has been a chance where spectator got a chance to meet the glitterati of Hollywood and the horses were treated in much the same way... back when landmarks were recognized and respected (therefore people were, too, recognized and respected as well as the horses who would beat the odds for the lucky ones who'd support them). Liebau would sell his mother I bet. Why are the land developers/banking institutions tearing down the Hollywood Park for some multi-use crap that can be found in any and every town? If they think ANYONE will go to Inglewood for a BS retail center and park, they're rudely mistaken. Way to give off the only piece of Inglewood that actually stood a chance...
Dale More than 1 year ago
where are all the billionaire horse owners???..they could have saved hollywood park.The biggest Cronie making out like a bandit on this closing is Mike Pegram..He owns a portion of Los Alamitos and is the key owner in their newly developed stable area. Pegram is a scumbag~~!! He profits and we the public are the losers.
JDS0810 More than 1 year ago
Too bad you don't know of what you speak. Billionaire owners and Peagram have nothing to do with Bay Meadows Land Company being developers. They did the same thing with Bay Meadows. The only thing you said correct in your statement is that you are a loser. Move on, turn the page, racing is consolidating, changing and we need to embrace the change not whine about it.
PeteG More than 1 year ago
Like all things,must come to an end,but why does it happen in my life time? I know people that are not interested but small airports are closeing every day. General Aviation is in big trouble,but people don't care. This is a shame.
Oscar Wells More than 1 year ago
Some defunct major tracks Birmingham Turf Club (Ala.) 1987-1992 (1) Bay Meadows (Calif.) 1934-2008 Hollywood Park (Calif.) 1938-2013 Tanforan (Calif.) 1899-1964 Hialeah Park (Fla.) 1921-2001 (2) Tropical Park (Fla.) 1931-1972 Sportsman’s Park (Ill.) 1932-2003 Washington Park (Ill.) 1884-1977 Douglas Park (Ky.) 1906-1958 Kentucky Association (Ky.) 1826-1933 Bowie (Md.) 1914-1985 (3) Havre de Grace (Md.) 1912-1950 Detroit Race Course (Mich.) 1950-1998 Ak-Sar-Ben (Neb.) 1920-1995 Garden State Park (N.J.) 1942-1977; 1985-2001 (4) Brighton Beach (N.Y.) 1879-1911 Jamaica (N.Y.) 1903-1959 Jerome Park (N.Y.) 1866-1894 Morris Park (N.Y.) 1889-1904 Sheepshead Bay (N.Y.) 1880-1911 Liberty Bell (Pa.) 1963-1986 Narragansett Park (R.I.) 1934-1978 Longacres (Wash.) 1933-1992 (1) Birmingham has dog racing today (2) Hialeah has Quarter Horse racing today (3) Bowie is a training center (4) Garden State burned down in 1977. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1985 and closed in 2001.
Oscar Wells More than 1 year ago
what a bummer to loose so much history with all these track AKSARBEN BAY MEADOWS AND SO MANY MORE
carol More than 1 year ago
there is a third horse buried there.....the Great Communicator....whats to happen to him...
AuctionHQ More than 1 year ago
Auction Info: http://auctionhq.com/event/hollywood-park-race-track/
Pam Shewan More than 1 year ago
I hate these Betfair bastards. I hope bad things come to them.
Dan Smith More than 1 year ago
Hollywood Park is an outdated dump. The betting terminals are from like 1812. Field of horses generally 5. Good riddance.
Ralph Gonzales More than 1 year ago
this clown acts as if this is something to celebrate. BETFAIR...same dopes that took racing from Bay Meadows, took over tvg and the reason I no longer bet with, or use their site or watch their cheese ball station. these guys have been the worst thing that ever happened to racing in California. I would hope all bettors would stop using tvg and not support these creeps. I also wonder about the housing they are going to develop. They gonna put up low income and section 8 housing? It's the only housing that would fit right in. Adios Hollywood Park...I do prefer Santa Anita anyway.
Renuncia Cupelluni More than 1 year ago
Betfair doesn't own Hollywood Park. Blame Bay Meadows Land Company, the same clowns who tore down Bay Meadows. Betfair bought naming rights, so I'm sure they're not too happy about Hollywood closing. The whole thing is a shame. Another piece of So Cal history is dying, never to be reclaimed.