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The Inside Track

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June 10, 2003|Larry Stewart

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, heard, observed, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here. One exception: No products will be endorsed.

What: "Hollywood Park: From Seabiscuit to Pincay."

Author: Biff Lowry.

Publisher: Hollywood Park.

Price: $14.95.

Sometimes you can find a bargain in horse racing and this is one. This marvelously written and edited 236-page book is full of tales that will inform and entertain you. Tabbed a history of Hollywood Park, it is also a history of horse racing in Southern California. Horse players and non-horse players alike will find it a fascinating read, enhanced by more than 100 photographs of the celebrities, dignitaries and horses who have graced Hollywood Park.

The book's 40th and final chapter, fittingly, is a tribute to jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., horse racing's all-time leader in victories, and a tribute to others who have made Hollywood Park one of the country's great racetracks.

"Pincay stands with the other greats, both human and equine, who have helped weave the historical tapestry of Hollywood Park from the time it was an open bean field in 1937 to present day," the author writes.

It has been a glorious run for Hollywood Park but there have also been some blemishes along the way. The author, Biff Lowry, the son of Paul Lowry, who covered horse racing for The Times from 1934 until his death in 1975, chronicles the rough spots as well as the smooth.

Jack Disney, former Herald Examiner sportswriter who now works in the track's publicity department, edited the book. He also contributed one of the better anecdotes. When Disney was writing for the Herald Examiner, he made special note of the seventh horse in the seventh race on 7/7/77. The horse, Kettle Miss, ridden by Sandy Hawley, went off at, of all things, 7-2. She finished seventh.

*

-- Larry Stewart

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