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Hollywood's Final Meet Comes to an End

Hollywood Park wrapped 75 years of history with the conclusion of the 2013 Autumn meet Sunday.

In its final 27-day season, the legendary track showed a gain in field size.

The average field size in 2013 was 8.15 starters per race compared to 7.89 a year ago and 7.33 in 2011.

Complete handle and Southern California attendance figures will be available in the near future.

“With the conclusion of the final meet, we’d like to express our thanks and gratitude to all employees, horsemen, jockeys, owners – past and present – and, most of all, our loyal customers who have helped make Hollywood Park an extremely special place,’’ said Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau.

A 2-year-old gelded son of Candy Ride, Shared Belief was definitely the star of the climactic meet, rolling to impressive wins in the Grade III Hollywood Prevue Stakes Nov. 10 and the Grade I CashCall Futurity Dec. 14.

Owned by a large partnership that includes radio and television personality Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing LLC and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Shared Belief was voted Horse of the Meet in the annual media poll and established himself as the early favorite for the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

Shared Belief provided Hollendorfer with his sixth stakes win of the meet, tying an Autumn record set by Hall of Famer Charlie Whittingham in 1984. Hollendorfer broke the tie with his seventh stakes success a week later, taking the Soviet Problem with favored Swiss Lake Yodeler.

The other Grade I winners during the season, which began Nov. 7, were Streaming, who took the Hollywood Starlet Dec. 7 at 10-1 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, European shipper Seek Again, who rallied along the rail to capture the Hollywood Derby Dec. 1 and Egg Drop, who battled back gamely the same day to defeat Discreet Marq by a nose in the closest Matriarch in history.

Owned by breeder Juddmonte Farms, Seek Again gave John Gosden his first Hollywood Derby success in 30 years. Long one of the best trainers in the world, the English-born Gosden won with the brilliant filly Royal Heroine in 1983.

Glen Hill Farm and the partnership of Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman shared the top spot in the owners’ standings with four wins. The partnership headed by Jungle Racing LLC, Hollendorfer and George Todaro led with earnings of $375,000.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano, who shared the 2013 Spring/Summer title with Edwin Maldonado, won the Autumn title for a second time, defeating Joe Talamo 37-34.

It was the sixth riding championship for Bejarano, who won four times on closing day, at Hollywood Park. Bejarano, Corey Nakatani, who directed Shared Belief to both of his local wins, and Victor Espinoza all won four stakes. Bejarano was also the earnings leader ($1,684,618).

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert won his second Autumn training title in a row – and fourth overall – finishing with 16 wins, one more than John Sadler, who led the 2013 Spring/Summer meet.

Besides being the runaway leader in stakes wins, Hollendorfer was also tops in earnings ($1,402,270).




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