There was an important vote at the Inglewood City Council last night, and the Council voted to approve the Environmental Impact Report that clears the way for an end to racing on the property and for the approvals process for development of the land as residential/retail/parkland. http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/a...
This is IMO insane. Inglewood simply cannot support the kind of development that the plan proposes. A major residential development on land in the nearby city of El Segundo, on the former Los Angeles AFB property, is languishing unfinished because the real estate market is in the tank; and in Hawthorne, another city bordering Inglewood, the Hawthorne Mall has been closed and boarded up for years because there just wasn't support in the community for that kind of retail facility. Five years or so back, a developer tried to get the Hawthorne Airport to close for development and the community refused to approve the plan because it was so obvious it couldn't succeed.
I hate the thought of a track that has seen the likes of Seabiscuit, Noor, Round Table, John Henry, Ack Ack, and many other great racehorses going under the wrecking ball. It disgusts me no end that the current owners of the track have taken little interest in promoting racing there. It also grieves me mightily that the politics here in California prevented Hollywood Park from getting slots. I'm not a fan of slots at racetracks, but they might have kept the track going for a while longer.
I gather that Los Alamitos, the Quarter Horse track in Orange County, is all set to expand from 5/8 mile to a mile and to take on some of the historic stakes races (like the Hollywood Gold Cup), with the California Horse Racing Board all set to assign at least some of the vacated Hollywood Park Thoroughbred dates to Los Al if Holllywood Park goes under. Pomona is another possibility, although there are complexities with that that make it more difficult that having Thoroughbred dates at Los Al.
Anyway, it looks like this winter's Hollywood Park meet will be the last. Sure makes me sad. Anyone have any thoughts on this situation?