The Hollywood Turf Club was formed under the chairmanship of Jack L. Warner (of the Warner Brothers film corporation). The 600 original shareholders included many stars, directors and producers of the film world, such as Al Jolson and Raoul Walsh (two of the original directors of the board); Joan Blondell; Ronald Colman; Walt Disney; Bing Crosby; Sam Goldwyn; Darryl Zanuck; George Jessel; Ralph Bellamy; Hal Wallis; Anatole Litvak; Hunt Stromberg; Wallace Beery; Irene Dunne, and the late Mervyn LeRoy (director of Hollywood Park from 1941 until his death in 1986).
Following is a list of historic and important events which took place at Hollywood Park since its inception in 1938:
The legendary Seabiscuit was victorious in 1938’s inaugural running of the Hollywood Gold Cup, the track’s signature race which would be won 11 times by Thoroughbreds distinguished as Horse of the Year: 1938, Seabiscuit; 1940, Challedon; 1951, Citation; 1956, Swaps; 1957, Round Table; 1971, Ack Ack; 1979, Affirmed; 1987, Ferdinand; 1990, Criminal Type; 1995, Cigar; 1998, Skip Away.
During World War II, Racing was suspended at the track.
Citation became racing’s first million-dollar earner by winning the 1951 Hollywood Gold Cup under Steve Brooks while making his final start.
Harbor View Farm’s Affirmed became racing’s first $2-million winner with a victory in 1979 Hollywood Gold Cup under jockey Laffit Pincay Jr.
Dotsam Stable’s seven-time Eclipse Award winner John Henry became the first horse to surpass $4 million in career earnings with a win in the 1983 Hollywood Turf Cup under jockey Chris McCarron.
With a purse of $1,049,725, the 1983 Hollywood Futurity was not only the first million-dollar race for Thoroughbred 2-year-olds, it was the richest race staged for Thoroughbreds at the time. Sandy Hawley rode Gary Jones trainee Fali Time to victory for owners James L. Mamakos and Dr. Marc Stubrin.
Before a crowd of 64,625 and an estimated 50 million viewers,
R.D. Hubbard gained control of
The $20-million Hollywood Park-Casino was opened on Friday, July 1, 1994. Previously known as the Pavilion, the state-of-the-art card club/casino features
Churchill Downs Incorporated closed a $140-million transaction to acquire
The sale of
Cushion Track was installed following the 2006 Spring/Summer Meet, opening for training on Sept. 13, 2006. Purchased from Equestrian Surfaces of Burnley, England, and installed at a cost of more than $8 million, Cushion Track consists of synthetic fibers, elastic fiber and granulated rubber — all coated with a specially formulated blend of wax and mixed with silica.
The Hollywood Park Racing Association and Betfair US, the Los Angeles based subsidiary of Betfair Group that also owns Television Games Network, completed a historic agreement March 13, 2012 intended to transform the customer experience for fans at the venue as well as online and on television. Under terms of the five year deal, Hollywood Park was renamed “Betfair Hollywood Park’’ in what is the first naming rights agreement for a horse racing venue in the United States.
Hollywood Park was shuttered at the conclusion of its fall 2013 racing season to make way for a residential and retail development. The final stakes race at the track was won by 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor California Chrome when he captured the King Glorious Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds on December 23, 2013.