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Feb. 20, 2015: Aerial photo taken from the window of a commercial airliner shows the former Hollywood Park horse track in Inglewood, Calif. The park was closed in 2013. The Forum is in center background.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Oscar W. Gabriel / Associated Press

Aerial photo of Hollywood Park on opening day on June 10, 1938. A crowd of about 40,000 was in attendance. Shown are the grandstand and clubhouse, with semi-circular enclosed paddock jutting out from them. Three lakes are located in the infield.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Seabiscuit, right, with jockey George Woolf aboard, wins the 1938 Hollywood Park Gold Cup, coming from behind to beat Specify, left, and Whichcee, center.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hollywood Park

Hollywood stars Don Ameche, holding binoculars, Hedy Lamarr and James Stewart watch the action at Hollywood Park on July 1, 1940. The stars attended a charity fundraiser at the track for the Red Cross on -- of course -- Red Cross Day.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Gerry Leftwich of the Hollywood Turf Club shows off the Hollywood Gold Cup trophy for the 1944 race. Happy Issue won the Dec. 16, 1944, running.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hollywood Turf Club

The eighth opening day for Hollywood Park on May 24, 1947, drew 45,000 spectators.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

A blaze at Hollywood Park on May 5, 1949, destroys the grandstand, but the horses are spared.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

Fire at Hollywood Park destroys the grandstand. Firefighters direct water at the structure as girders fall.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

An Inglewood fire truck sits at the entrance on May 6, 1949.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

The 1949 fire destroyed the grandstands.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

A Hollywood Park visitor reads the racing form on May 13, 1955.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

Harness Racing at Hollywood Park in 1957.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hollywood Park

Horses round clubhouse turn on opening day in 1957.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times

Horses in the gate prepare to run on May 11, 1957.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gary Smith / Los Angeles Times

Fans concentrate on charts, horse records before placing bets on Dec. 26, 1961.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ben Olender / Los Angeles Times

John Hartley, left, John R. Maluvius, center, the racing secretary and handicapper, and Bob Benoit demonstrate drawing post positions in May 1961.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times

Native Diver and Hollywood Park Goose Girl in July 1967. Native Diver won his third Gold Cup in that year's race.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hollywood Park

A convertible, with the starting gate mounted on top, is used to start 1969 harness race.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times

Jockeys Willie Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay watch the replay of the 1970 Hollywood Gold Cup race. Actor John Forsythe is second from right.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hollywood Park

Handicappers Bob Baedeker, Troy Roper, Skip Barker and Cal Calvert sell their tip sheets on July 21, 1971.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

Handicapper Cal Calvert uses a multigraph printer connected to his van's battery to print copies of the day's tip sheet in July 1971. He will circle his winners and hand out cards to bettors leaving the track, hoping they'll buy his tip sheet the next day.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

Women stroll through the park's lush gardens in spring 1973.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

Actor Davy Jones exercises Two Hoots at Hollywood Park during morning workouts in 1973. At age 14 Jones was an apprentice jockey at Newmarket race track in England.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Sharkey / Library file photo

Brian and Jill Wallace wash Magestic Beauty after a training session during Hollywood Park harness racing season in September 1976.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kathleen Ballard / Los Angeles Times

Mixed reactions as the horses cross the finish line at Hollywood Park on Feb. 22 1977.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

During 1980 season, Chris McCarron, leading jockey at Hollywood Park, poses on a scale with his two daughters, Erin and Stephanie.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

A horse-racing fan watches the action in 1981.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

A horse is loaded into a trailer after the end of the fall program in 1981.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

In 1981, new barns were installed at Hollywood Park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Harry Chase / Los Angeles Times

The stable area is readied for the fall meeting in 1981.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times

On June 27, 1984, a record number of bettors arrive at 7:30 a.m. to wager on the Perfect Six.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Riders ease their mounts following sixth race in 1984 opening day at Hollywood Park. The new "Pavilion of the Stars," is in background on left. The old grandstands are on right.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Horses run past the new pavilion in 1984.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

Scott Layden signals the start of first race during Hollywood Park opening day in 1986.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anacleto Rapping / Los Angeles Times

Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor enjoy opening day in 1986.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Jockey Jack Kaenel jumps off his mount, 3-year-old Years of Fun, after leaving the starting gate in the second race on Nov. 5, 1986, at Hollywood Park. Kaenel was shaken up; Years of Fun was not seriously injured.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Dykes / Los Angeles Times

Hollywood Park Chief Executive Marje Everett and actor Robert Wagner on opening day 1987.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

Hollywood Park stewards Pete Pederson, Tom Ward and Dave Samuels monitor the third race of the day on Nov. 19, 1987.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times

Martin Ritt, left, Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, ponder the odds during the 50th anniversary gala at Hollywood Park in 1988.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Randy Leffingwell / Los Angeles Times

Staff photographer Joe Kennedy wrote on caption sheet, "Generic under the rail art of first race. #9 is Plenty Sudden, ridden by Rick Dominguez. #8 is Lucky Advance, ridden by Jerry Olguin." Photo was taken on 1988 opening day of fall racing at Hollywood Park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

During 1988, bettors gather before television monitors to check the odds of upcoming races.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: David Butow / Los Angeles Times

Fans get an up-close look at horses in the redesigned paddock area in April 1991.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Dykes / Los Angeles Times

Start of the first race for the 1991 season at Hollywood Park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Dykes / Los Angeles Times

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Hollywood Park images 1938-1991 [updated]

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Hollywood Park images 1938-1991 [updated]

After 75 years of racing, Hollywood Park in Inglewood closed on Dec. 22, 2013. This gallery consists of images from 1938-1991, except for a recent 2015 aerial of the closed park.

In a May 10, 2013 article, columnist Eric Sondheimer reported:

So much has changed since Hollywood Park opened in 1938. It was built to woo the rich and famous. Among the 600 original shareowners were some of the biggest names in the movie business — Jack Warner, Sam Goldwyn and Mervyn LeRoy.

Seabiscuit won the inaugural running of the Hollywood Gold Cup. Some of racing’s greatest horses ran at Hollywood Park — Citation, Swaps, Noor, Round Table, Ack Ack, Seattle Slew, Cigar.

It was the place where Hall of Fame trainers Charles Whittingham and Bobby Frankel did battle and where jockeys Willie Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Chris McCarron engaged in memorable stretch duels.

“I remember when I was 7 years old,” trainer Marty Jones said. “Cars were all lined up on Century Boulevard just to see Seattle Slew.”

Hollywood Park was where Sunday racing debuted in 1973. A tote bag promotion drew a record crowd of 80,348 on May 4, 1980. The $1-million Pick Six was begun in 1998. California’s first synthetic track surface, the Cushion Track, was installed in 2006.

Racing executives Marjorie Everett and R.D. Hubbard blossomed and thrived at Hollywood Park.

But the rise of Internet betting, simulcast wagering and changing demographics have put horse racing in Southern California in a precarious position.

Link to Eric Sondheimer’s full article: Hollywood Park to close after final autumn meeting race Dec. 22.

[updated Feb. 25, 2015 with current aerial photo from Associated Press.]

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