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TRAVEL
October 16, 2011 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times
California is home to more racetracks than any other state, with four dominant tracks and a dozen lesser venues, such as state fairs, where thoroughbreds line up shoulder to shoulder. The majors tend to be tributes to Old California. Each of the Big Four has its own bloodlines and vibe. As Santa Anita holds its fall season, and Hollywood Park and Golden Gate Fields follow soon, here's a look at what makes them distinct and how to get the most for your money - at least till it comes to betting the trifecta.
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SPORTS
March 9, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
LAS VEGAS  - "I love coming back here," Jimmie Johnson said of Las Vegas, but it's not to gamble or take in a show. "Vegas is fun but it's really, just in my mind, a racing town," he said. And Johnson, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, might as well be its honorary mayor. As he seeks a record-tying seventh Cup title this year, Johnson already holds the record for most Cup wins at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with four. Yet, he has had something of a drought at the 1.5-mile oval located 15 miles northeast of the Strip.
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SPORTS
December 16, 1994 | BILL CHRISTINE
The racetracks of my youth are fading. Cahokia Downs has been gone for two decades, and, more recently, the owners of Charles Town have said they're out of business unless an angel drops from the sky. Cahokia Downs, near East St. Louis, Ill., was a bullring oval devoid of quality racing, but at least it gave Dave Johnson, a fine announcer, his start. Tod Creed, who preceded Johnson, was a fun-loving race caller with a macabre sense of humor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 | By Nita Lelyveld
If you have memories of a place that stretch over a lifetime - from when you were a kid there to when you brought your kids and then their kids - it's hard to go back and see it empty and unloved, the flowers unwatered and dead, dust coating the floors and the benches. It all happened so quickly at Hollywood Park, where thoroughbreds last thundered down the track just a month ago. Now, with that day's racing slips still scattered about the stands, everything that can be removed is being sold off: the ticket booths, the Jumbotron, the jockeys' impossibly small, narrow bunk beds.
NATIONAL
February 23, 2012 | By Richard Fausset
Kentucky has historically -- and famously -- been racehorse country. It hasn't traditionally been casino country. That may soon change, now that a proposed constitutional amendment to allow casinos in the state appears headed to a full vote of the state Senate. What remains unclear is whether the casino amendment will end up hurting or helping the horse-racing business, the state's signature industry and one deeply tied to Kentucky's mythic sense of self. The bill, which has the backing of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, could be voted on by the Senate as early as Thursday -- although there are some calls to delay the vote.
SPORTS
March 31, 1985 | Associated Press
Work has started on China's first horse race track to be constructed after 1949, a 7,000-seat state-run park named after the 11th-century Mongolian conqueror Kublai Khan, the official news agency Xinhua reported. "It will be commercial and recreational and not for gambling," the agency quoted the track's manager, Zheng Fengrong, a former record-holding woman high-jumper, as saying.
NEWS
February 11, 1997 | ESTHER SCHRADER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
From a mailbox a mile from Disneyland, a woman calling herself Juanita Long mailed a $200 filing fee in December to the state attorney general's office, along with a proposed ballot initiative that would allow racetracks in five California cities to legally operate Las Vegas-style gambling casinos. Having lobbed that grenade at the anti-gaming forces that have fought to keep casino gambling from the Golden State, Long promptly disappeared without a trace.
NEWS
May 21, 1997 | MARK CHALON SMITH
* The Los Alamitos Race Course has a site at http://www. losalamitos.com that provides information on the track and racing schedule. * Find the same for the Del Mar course at http://www.dmtc.com * Ditto for Santa Anita at http://www.santaanita.com * And then there's Hollywood Park at http://www. hollywoodpark.com * The Daily Racing Form, the tracker's bible, has a site at http://www.drf.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 1998 | BILL CHRISTINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A professional gambler has been indicted by a federal grand jury in a racetrack scheme that allegedly involved cashing other bettors' tickets and obtaining refunds from false tax returns. The activities of James J. Greulich of Huntington Beach took place at the Del Mar, Santa Anita and Hollywood Park tracks in 1995.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 15, 1996
An Arcadia citizens group will turn in an initiative petition that, if it qualifies for the November ballot, would let voters decide whether they should approve any changes to the use of the grounds at Santa Anita Park. The prospective ballot measure comes in the wake of Santa Anita's controversial plan that it recently withdrew for a $100-million entertainment center in the horse racing track's 120-acre parking lot.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2013 | By Angel Jennings
A pair of flamingos might be the last to leave Betfair Hollywood Park when the Inglewood racetrack finally closes Sunday. The bright pink birds were supposed to make the move to Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, Calif., last week with 10 other flamingos that lived in the infield lake at the 75-year-old track. But when a crew from Los Angeles Zoo arrived to capture them, five stealthy birds were able to flee through a hole in the mesh trap. PHOTOS: The final days of Hollywood Park  "It's not very easy to round up birds," said Susie Kasielke, curator of birds at the L.A. Zoo. "They get panicky and try to run out. " On a second attempt, zoo officials were able to wrangle up three of the escapees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2013 | By Angel Jennings
A pair of flamingos might be the last to leave Betfair Hollywood Park when the Inglewood racetrack finally closes Sunday. The bright pink birds were supposed to make the move to Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero last week with 10 other flamingos that lived in the infield lake at the 75-year-old track. But when a crew from Los Angeles Zoo arrived to capture them, five stealthy birds were able to flee through a hole in the mesh trap. “It's not very easy to round up birds,” said Susie Kasielke , curator or birds at the L.A. Zoo. “They get panicky and try to run out.”    On a second attempt, zoo officials were able to wrangle up three of the escapees.
SPORTS
July 17, 2013 | Eric Sondheimer
There was primping, flirting, laughing, betting, drinking - and that was before the first race went off on opening day at Del Mar. In what has become the social event of the year in San Diego County, a crowd of 43,030, the largest to attend a horse race in California this year, showed up on Wednesday to create a party-like atmosphere complete with hats seemingly designed from an unknown civilization. "Oh my God. Look at this," one female track visitor said in awe of a hat that included an iron replica of the Eiffel Tower covered with flowers and feathers.
NEWS
July 2, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
If you're traveling along any part of the Pacific Surfliner rail route July 19-21 -- the seasonal opening of Del Mar racetrack and Comic-Con -- make your train reservations right now or risk not getting a seat. That's the word Monday from Amtrak , which is requiring train reservations in anticipation of a heavy passenger load on the weekend of those two big events in the San Diego area.  Comic-Con, which draws about 130,000 visitors, is set for the San Diego Convention Center from 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. July 18 to 20 and 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. July 21. Farther north, the Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar opens for the season on July 17. The Pacific Surfliner operates daily service between San Luis Obispo and San Diego by way of Los Angeles, and Amtrak is requiring reservations for all passengers traveling during the mid-July weekend.
SPORTS
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.
SPORTS
April 24, 2013 | Eric Sondheimer
Betfair Hollywood Park begins what could be its final 49-day spring-summer meeting Thursday. The California Horse Racing Board is scheduled to move forward on 2014 racing dates at its next meeting on May 23 in Sacramento, even though Hollywood Park has not publicly stated whether the track will shut down at the end of this year. Jack Liebau, president of Hollywood Park, said last week that people seem to be assuming the Inglewood track will not have racing next year. "They may be right; they may be wrong," he said.
SPORTS
September 3, 1997 | From Associated Press
The mystery surrounding Dale Earnhardt's health problems at the Southern 500 took a new twist Tuesday when a close aide said the driver twice nodded off at the wheel before the race. The revelation by Don Hawk, president of Dale Earnhardt Inc., came as Earnhardt underwent more hospital tests in an attempt to determine what happened at the start of Sunday's race in Darlington, S.C.
SPORTS
September 22, 1991 | MIKE OWEN, ASSOCIATED PRESS
He's a special presence at a racetrack, a magnet to the eye when he's in his car and a magnet to the fans when he's out of it. But through all the autographs and interviews and, yes, the seven year-plus search for another win, Richard Petty handles the demands of being NASCAR's king with a grin. "I still like to drive the race car. That's why I put up with everything else," Petty said during about as quiet a moment as he can get at a track these days.
SPORTS
December 25, 2012 | Bill Dwyre
Santa Anita once ran a promotional campaign that should never have been abandoned. It teased and tickled and remains a message of pride for Southern California horse racing fans. "What do you open the day after Christmas?" The sport that spends much of its time wringing its hands at why so many think it is not hip and cool like the Lakers will have its annual new beginning Wednesday. Post time is noon at Santa Anita Park, and the Great Race Place will certainly feel worthy of its name on this day. It's still a big deal, a chance for horsemen to set goals and dream of Kentucky Derbies; a chance for trainer Doug O'Neill to focus his memories of 2012 on another I'll Have Another and not on "Drug" O'Neill; for Bob Baffert to roll out some new one-liners about being a bridesmaid in all of the 2012 Triple Crown races and figure out a way to catch the bouquet in 2013.
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