Hollywood Park’s scaled-down spring-summer meeting begins Wednesday
Hollywood Park opens its 71st spring-summer meeting Wednesday, with a scaled-down 60-day schedule that will feature the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10, plus six other Grade I races.
The schedule will follow the normal Wednesday-through-Sunday format, but will make exceptions on six Thursdays, prompted by the slow economy. The track will be open for simulcasts only this Thursday, and on April 29, June 3, July 1, July 8 and July 15.
Besides the Gold Cup day, which also includes the $250,000, Grade I Triple Bend Handicap, the track’s largest wagering days are likely to be the three simulcast days of Triple Crown racing — the May 1 Kentucky Derby in Louisville, the May 15 Preakness in Baltimore and the June 5 Belmont in New York.
First post time will be the usual 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, except on Triple Crown racing days, when it will be 11 a.m. Fridays will feature the usual 7:05 p.m. starts, with the lone exception the April 30 Kentucky Oaks Day, with first post at 1 p.m.
Doug O’Neill won the training title last year with 37 wins. Joel Rosario topped the jockey standings with 79 victories.
Veteran Alex Solis, 46, will be missing from the Hollywood Park jockey colony for the first time in more than two decades. He will move to Kentucky to race a regular schedule at Churchill Downs, and probably will go on from there to Saratoga this summer.
Solis’ agent, Brian Beach, said that the change had nothing to do with Hollywood Park, but with Solis’ desire to ride in Kentucky. Beach said the decision was influenced by the Breeders’ Cup’s being at Churchill Downs this year, and by Solis’ increased exposure to Hall of Fame voters in the East.