Farewell to Hollywood Park

Today is the last day of racing at the storied racetrack built in a bean field in 1938 by movie mogul Jack Warner. A developer plans to raze the complex and build a low-income housing project and mall. Victim of the recession's impact on sports, Hollywood Park isn't going quietly. Noisy allegations are being made that Mayor Villaraigosa and the L.A. city council rushed approval of the sale without due process. Others lament that the city of Inglewood never made it a historic landmark.

But historic-landmark status is little protection today. Another storied racetrack with movie-glamour history, Del Mar, is being put on the sale block by the state of California, along with several other historic sites. Santa Anita itself is in financial trouble, reportedly up for sale. If all these tracks go, horse racing in southern California will have been virtually decapitated, resulting in a big income loss to the state, not to mention the loss of jobs. It makes you wonder what the state government is thinking.

Together with my local gay and lesbian horse-loving buddies, two of whom joined me for some TVG watching of the races on the last HP card, I'm hoisting a glass of wine and saying my own goodbye.

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