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Hollywood Park Racetrack set to close at end of 2013 after 75 years

May 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
On the turf or the track, watching the horses race at Hollywood Park has been a favorite pastime for many Southern Californians for decades.

But after 75 years, the track will close at the end of the year.

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith says he has many fond many racing at Hollywood Park.

"When I first came from New York, this is the first place I came to, so it's a sad day for all of us," he said.

The track has hosted many famous jockeys and horses, including Seabiscuit. But the history alone isn't enough to keep Hollywood park from closing.

Track president Jack Liebau says fewer people are coming to the races to place their bets, and that technology has cut into business.

"We have over half of our businesses out of state as far as wagering is concerned, and there now is more wagering over the Internet than there is on track," he said.

Those who love a long shot and the excitement of live racing say they'll be sad to see the track go after all these years.

"When you come here, you go right to the finish line and pull for your horse, there's nothing like live racing. I'm going to miss it, but business is business, you have to just to deal with it," said horse racing fan Phillip Boclair.

The land will be developed into housing and retail. The last day of racing will be Dec. 22.


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