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Hollywood Park

Hollywood Park

A Racetrack of Their Own

(p.63) 4 Hollywood Park
Hollywood at the Races
Alan Shuback
University Press of Kentucky

Hollywood couldn’t get enough of horse racing, which led to the establishment of a third track. However, there was an underlying reason for the creation of Hollywood Park in Inglewood in 1938: anti-Semitism. Jews were not allowed to be members of the swank Turf Club at Santa Anita, where business deals and social contacts were made on a daily basis. Almost all the leading producers in Hollywood were Jewish, so Jack and Harry Warner mapped plans to build a racetrack of their own, with help from a large segment of the film community. Overcoming the powers that be at Santa Anita and the California Horse Racing Board was difficult, but when Hollywood Park finally opened, it was an instant success. Through the years, its board of directors included the likes of Mervyn LeRoy and Cary Grant, and it ultimately became the site of the first Breeders’ Cup in 1984. A long, slow demise led to its closing in 2013, the prime example of the twin declines of horse racing and cinema in America.

Keywords:   Hollywood Park, horse racing, anti-Semitism

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