INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 15, 2013)—The final week of racing in the history of Betfair Hollywood Park will begin Friday, Dec. 20 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 22.
Post time each day is 12:30 p.m. Track gates will open at 9:55 a.m.
Although Betfair Hollywood Park will not have live racing Monday-Thursday (Dec. 16-19), the Betfair Hollywood Park Players’ Club will be open for simulcasts. Admission is free.
The Dec. 20 program will offer the final Fiesta Friday. Food and drink specials will be available between 2-4 p.m. and Gold Club members can enter to win a $100 mutuel voucher.
Part of the Golden State Series, the $200,000-guaranteed Soviet Problem is the main event on the Dec. 21 card.
Restricted to 2-year-old fillies bred or sired in California, the Soviet Problem, which had its inaugural running in 2012, is at seven furlongs over Cushion Track.
It will also be the final $150,000-guaranteed Pick Six Saturday. Should the pool exceed $200,000, $1 Happy Hour food and drink specials will be available at Whittingham’s Pub and Betfair Players’ Lounge.
Additionally, if there is a single perfect ticket in the Pick Six – purchased either on track or through Television Games Network (TVG) – the holder of the ticket will receive a bonus – a new Prius courtesy of Toyota of Orange.
Commemorative pins honoring the Charles L. Whittingham Memorial Handicap will be distributed – one per paid admission while supplies last.
The pins feature the silks of Dorothy and Sam Rubin’s Dotsam Stable, which became world famous due to the exploits of John Henry, the gelding who rose from humble beginnings to win 16 Grade I races and earn nearly $6.6 million.
Trained by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, John Henry won the Hollywood Invitational – known as the Whittingham since 1999 – in 1980, 1981 and 1984.
Another Golden State Series event, the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes, is the feature attraction Dec. 22, the final day of racing at the legendary venue.
Named for the winner of the 1988 Hollywood Futurity, the King Glorious is for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California and will be run at seven furlongs over Cushion Track.
Like the Soviet Problem, named for the multiple stakes winning daughter of Moscow Ballet owned and bred by John C. Harris and Don Valpredo, the King Glorious was offered for the first time a year ago.
One hour (11:30 a.m.) before post time, Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg will sign copies of his book “Jack: From Grit to Glory’’ at the Betfair Hollywood Park Gift Shop.
Commemorative pins honoring the Sunset Handicap will also be given away – one per paid admission while supplies last – on closing day.
Hall of Fame trainer Whittingham and owner Mary Jones Bradley enjoyed much success together over the years, including a 1973 victory in the Sunset by Cougar II.
A Grade I winner on turf and dirt, the Chilean bred’s one-length win over Life Cycle more than 40 years ago was the sixth of a record 13 Sunset victories for Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker.
There will also be drawings for gift cards and other special prizes throughout the day. A pair of $50,000 starter allowance races – the Valley Lass and Auld Lang Syne – are scheduled to bookend the 10-race card.
The opening race in the condition book for Dec. 22, the Valley Lass honors the first horse to win at Hollywood Park. The 2-year-old California bred filly took the opener June 10, 1938 under jockey Silvio Coucci.
The Auld Lang Syne is scheduled as the finale. Both races are set for one mile on turf.
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