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Horse Races

April 29, 2007
The Kentucky Derby is less than a week away. The majesty of Saturday's race will remind us why the sport of kings has a global following.
January 2, 2014 | By Anthony York
Bo Derek, the Golden Globe-nominated actress who became a sex symbol after the release of the 1979 movie “10,” has been reappointed to the state racing board by Gov. Jerry Brown. Derek, who was born Mary Cathleen Collins, was first appointed to the board by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008. Now 57, Derek still takes on the occasional acting role, but has been more active as an advocate for animal rights. In 2011, she testified before a legislative committee in Sacramento to support an effort to ban shark fin soup.
August 7, 1987 | United Press International
Nashville voters narrowly rejected pari-mutuel betting on horse races Thursday, and Democratic Rep. Bill Boner outpolled eight other candidates in a mayoral election but faces a runoff against businessman Phil Bredesen. With 100% of the vote counted, the proposal to allow betting on horse racing was defeated by a vote of 62,840 to 62,145. Pari-mutuel gambling was authorized on a local option basis by the Tennessee General Assembly this year but strongly opposed by the state's clergy. The Rev.
December 22, 2013 | By David Wharton
The bugler in his green coat and top hat tried to sound upbeat as he blew the traditional "Call to Post," but he might just as well have been playing a dirge. Down by the rail, Todd Matzner listened with a cigar stub clamped between his teeth. "I wasn't going to miss this, no way," the horse racing die-hard said. "Even if it's kind of sad. " Sunday marked the last gasp for Betfair Hollywood Park, a 75-year-old racetrack that had once been a sparkling jewel of the city. The Inglewood landmark, which has fallen victim to declining revenue industrywide, will have its grandstand razed and its racing ovals dug up. Shops, offices and residential units are planned for the spot where fans once cheered for horses such as Seabiscuit and Zenyatta, not to mention renowned jockeys Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr. "The track's closure is a major loss," said Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive of the National Thoroughbred Racing Assn.
Santa Anita, one of the nation's premier race tracks, opened for business 65 years ago today. But it almost didn't happen that way. Not at Santa Anita, anyway. The syndicate that built the facility first wanted to put it in San Francisco, but the neighborhoods near the proposed site raised an uproar. Next, Culver City was designated. That didn't work out either.
When trainer Carl Nafzger arrived at Gulfstream Park Saturday and opened the racing program, he was offended. His champion colt, Unbridled, was listed at 3-1 in the morning line -- odds that suggested his chances were moderate at best. "Three to one!" Nafzger huffed. "Don't they read the Racing Form?" But he recognized that the oddsmaker's appraisal reflected a general lack of enthusiasm for Unbridled. "People just don't appreciate this horse for what he is," the trainer said.
November 17, 1996 | Bill Plaschke
Midweek afternoon at Hollywood Park, a smattering of horseplayers in the stands, half of them bugging Bob Baffert, the big-money trainer who looks and talks and laughs the way they do. "Nice lock, Fat Eddie," he says to one. "Now get out of here." The Baffert-trained Over Houston will be running soon in the fifth race and the owner's son wonders if the esteemed horseman is going to walk down and give jockey Kent Desormeaux final instructions. "What for?" Baffert asks.
October 20, 1989 | BILL CHRISTINE
The sad part about this year's Breeders' Cup Turf Stakes is that Great Communicator and Sunshine Forever, those superb grass runners who finished only a half-length apart last year, won't be running on Nov. 4 at Gulfstream Park. Great Communicator, a 6-year-old gelding, has danced a dance or two too many, and Sunshine Forever, a 4-year-old who has aged quickly, is winless this year, unable to beat allowance horses in New York.
April 24, 1986 | BILL CHRISTINE
This is where trainer Eddie Gregson came in. Gregson came in, that is, to run second with Gato Del Sol in the 1982 Blue Grass Stakes and then, nine days later, won the Kentucky Derby with the kindly gray who gave Churchill Downs its biggest upset--$44.40--in 15 years. Now Gregson is back at the Blue Grass, knocking on the door with a 3-year-old colt named Icy Groom.
His face buried in the Daily Racing Form, Kevin Molloy, a 71-year-old retired waiter, paused while scanning statistics and spoke sadly about how different June will be for him and his friends this year. Normally, at this time of year the racing season is on at Agua Caliente Racetrack in nearby Tijuana. But the horses will not be running at Caliente this year, much to Molloy's disappointment.
December 9, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
Horse racing has problems, which is like saying rain makes the grass wet. It is a sport in which the toothache never goes away. Conversely, it has its moments, its shots of adrenaline. On a glorious November day at Santa Anita, a huge horse trained by a tiny woman and ridden by a 50-year-old grandfather who had taken seven years off won the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic. It was such a good story that moviemakers must be scrambling to line up Kathy Ritvo and her aptly named horse, Mucho Macho Man. The jockey part is easy.
November 7, 2013 | Paresh Dave
With only seven horses racing and Seattle Slew the clear favorite, many of the 68,000 people at Hollywood Park thought they had a sure bet picking him to finish among the top three. Yet, few cheers boomed out for Seattle Slew at the finish line that summer day in 1977. The just-anointed Triple Crown winner had been embarrassed in the Swaps Stakes, finishing fourth, 16 lengths behind J.O. Tobin. Some considered it the biggest disappointment in Hollywood Park's history -- until this year, when racetrack owners announced the autumn meet that begins Thursday would be the last season in Hollywood Park's 75-year run. Named by its film industry founders, Hollywood Park began as a glitzy oasis in Inglewood for both the rich and those hoping to strike it rich.
September 28, 2013 | By Mike Boehm
The already difficult path to creating a National Museum of the American Latino has gotten bumpier because of another museum proposal now pending before Congress - this one aiming to establish a national museum in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the entire immigrant experience. Backers of the National Museum of the American People want Congress to authorize creation of  a presidentially appointed commission to study its feasibility - a first step that the national Latino museum completed in 2011.
September 27, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
The significance of opening day at Santa Anita on Friday had mostly to do with the Arcadia race track's attempt to enter the brave new world of sports entertainment. For years, thoroughbred racing has been acquiring the label of "a dying sport. " That would be the assessment of the hordes of 20-and-30-somethings, whose passion for sports is a direct line to how their quarterback did in their Sunday fantasy league. Other sports move faster, make more noise and exude more cool than horse racing.
August 3, 2013
Re "A public push for Fed chief successor," July 31 I know both Janet Yellen and Larry Summers, the two economists said to be the top candidates to replace outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Their main difference seems to be style rather than substance. It is correct to say that Yellen, the Fed's vice chair, is the safer pick. But sometimes, the riskier choice has a big payback. Former Treasury Secretary Summers, with his larger-than-life persona, may ruffle feathers, create a confirmation battle and generate volatility in the market initially.
July 17, 2013 | Eric Sondheimer
Opening day at Del Mar is set for Wednesday, and it's the one day of the year when Southern California horse racing fans forget about any troubles surrounding the sport. Fans come out en masse (attendance on opening day was 47,339 last year), colorful hats pop up as if it were the Kentucky Derby and fields are so full that no one worries whether there's a shortage of horses. As usual, the opening day $100,000 Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds going one mile on the turf has been split into two divisions, the sixth and ninth races on a 10-race card, after 22 horses were entered.
March 15, 1998 | SCOTT MARTELLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER; Martelle is a reporter for the Times Orange County edition
You have to rise early to beat the horses. Very early. We're already up and out by 5:30 a.m., walking in the predawn haze through a tent city at the base of a sweeping mountainside. The camp is stirring, and soft voices and the gentle whinny of horses float among the tents. In the distance, beyond the low smoke of cook-fires and the tethered horses, we can see a small grandstand, and, facing the grandstand from 50 feet away, a short wooden observation tower.
September 21, 1989 | Bill Christine
In 1986, Variety Road beat Ferdinand, who won the Kentucky Derby about two months later. In 1987, at 24-1, Variety Road beat Ferdinand again, as well as Snow Chief and Broad Brush, in the San Fernando Handicap at Santa Anita. Ferdinand went on to recognition as horse of the year, Broad Brush was voted the second-best handicap horse in the country and Snow Chief beat them both in the Strub, three weeks after his loss to Variety Road.
May 11, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
With its announcement Thursday, Hollywood Park did little to refute the theory that horse racing is a sport in need of hospice. They raced at the Inglewood track Friday, but it wasn't business as usual. Nor will it be the rest of this meeting and the track's final one, which ends Dec. 22. For people in the business, and fans of the sport, the next six months of racing at the place universally known as Hollypark will be an emotional saddle sore. The bulldozers are at the gate.
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