As first reported this morning by Christina Blacker of HRTV, the end of the road is for all intents and purposes official for Hollywood Park after management issued a letter to their employees stating they will not request live racing dates for 2014. The final day of racing in Inglewood will come with the conclusion of this year’s autumn meet on December 22.
It’s been at times a great run for the track of the lakes and flowers, but not so over the last decade with a dilapidated building, declining product and scarce attendance. Let’s hope the racing industry can turn this into a positive wake-up call with additional dates for Santa Anita and Del Mar and a resolution to the expansion of either Fairplex Park or Los Alamitos.
A four-horse field to start the week and a pair of allowance optional claiming races that have just five runners further illustrate the circuit’s continuing deficiencies.
Slotted as the featured seventh race is a second-level $62,500 allowance optional claimer for older females traveling 1 1/16-miles on Cushion Track chasing a purse of $57,000.Exiting a fourth-place finish beaten two lengths in the Wilshire Handicap (Grade 3) on April 28, Esentepe is the 6-to-5 morning line favorite. Rafael Bejarano climbs aboard for the first time in the fourth U.S. start for the four-year-old Irish-bred Oratorio filly trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.