INGLEWOOD, Calif. (December 22, 2013)-What Valley Lass started June 10, 1938 was finished Sunday by Woodmans Luck (video).
A 2-year-old California bred filly, Valley Lass was the first horse to win a race at Hollywood Park more than 75 ½ years ago.
Woodmans Luck, a 5-year-old gelding also bred in the state, was the last winner in the illustrious history of the legendary track, edging Depreciable by a nose after a thrilling stretch run put a cap to Sunday’s farewell 11-race program.
In a $57,750 starter allowance for older horses on turf named the Auld Lang Syne, Woodmans Luck, who is owned by David and Holly Wilson and trained by Vladimir Cerin, earned his first win since 2011 with a nose decision under jockey Corey Nakatani.
It was the 1,202nd win at Hollywood Park for Nakatani, leaving him eighth on the all-time list, and a victory he will cherish.
“That was really emotional,’’ said Nakatani. “It’s hard to really say that much. This has always been such a great place to be. After winning a bunch of races here, it’s hard to see it go. It’s pretty sad.’’
Cerin shared the same sentiment.
“I almost would have taken a four-horse dead heat there and let everyone have a piece of the last race,’’ he said. “When they were coming down the stretch, all I could think of his how sad that it was over.
“It’s almost hard to enjoy the win when you think this is the last race at this race track. When I started training here, I think it took me a year to win my first race and to have it end like this just seems surreal.’’
Valley Lass was honored with a race of her own earlier in the afternoon. A $57,000 starter allowance for fillies and mares on grass, the Valley Lass went as the third on the card and was taken by Tanquerray, a 5-1 shot ridden by Nakatani.
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