The legendary Betfair Hollywood Park will end horse racing, training and stabling after its 75th anniversary season, the company announced Thursday.
The Hollywood Park Racing Association will not apply to the California Horse Racing Board for any race dates in 2014, and this year’s autumn meet from Nov. 7 to Dec. 22 will mark the end of the races.
The Inglewood track -- just four miles from Los Angeles International Airport -- will be developed into thousands of residential units such as townhomes, a movie theatre and park, Hollywood Park spokesperson Bob Mieszerski said.
The park was established as the "Hollywood Turf Club" in 1938. Some of the original shareholders included the likes of Walt Disney, Bing Crosby and Jack L. Warner of Warner Bros.
When Hollywood Park Land Co. bought the park from Churchill Downs in 2005, the future of the racetrack was guaranteed for at least three years unless any major changes took place.
“Ownership has been upfront from the beginning that the property would eventually be developed unless there were significant changes in the horse racing business,’’ Betfair Hollywood Park President Jack Liebau said.
“From an economic point of view, the land now simply has a higher and better use,” he said.
Seabiscuit -- the horse whose success sparked the award-winning film -- won the inaugural Hollywood Gold Cup at the park 75 years ago. The famed thoroughbred is on a long list of winners including Noor, Citation, Swaps, Round Table, Ack Ack, Affirmed, Ferdinand, Cigar, Skip Away, Happy Issue, Two Lea and Princessnesian, and three-time winners Native Diver and Lava Man.
Some of the park’s innovations include Sunday racing and wagers like the Rolling Pick 3s, Superfecta, Place Pick All, Pick 4, Players’ Pick 5 and Pick Six, according to a news release announcing the plans.