Hollywood Park, Horse racing

“That’s a wrap!’

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Woodman’s Luck and Corey Nakatani won the finale at Hollywood Park as the Inglewood oval hosted its last race card on Sunday, Dec. 22, before closing the doors for good. The city of Inglewood has approved plans to demolish the “track of lakes and flowers”, and build nearly 3,000 homes on the 238-acre site along with retail outlets, offices, and a park. BENOIT PHOTO

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A few quotes courtesy of the Hollywood Park publicity department following the final race at the historic track on Sunday:

Jockey Corey Nakatani on winning the final race on Woodman’s Luck:

“Well, I made history.  I won the last race and got the last set of days (he received a three-day suspension from the stewards earlier Sunday) at Hollywood Park.  Kind of bittersweet.  That was really emotional.  It’s hard to really say that much.  This has always been such a great place to be.  After winning a bunch of races here, it’s hard to see it go.  It’s pretty sad.”

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Jockey Rafael Bejarano on winning the final riding title:

“It feels great to win the last title.  It means a lot to me.  When I came back to the winner’s circle, I could hear everyone cheering and I was just so happy.”

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Trainer Vladimir Cerin on winning the final race:

“I almost would have taken a four-horse dead heat there and let everyone have a piece of the last race.  When they were coming down the stretch, all I could think of is how sad that it was over. I didn’t think he could win from where he was.  Nakatani has given us some fantastic rides this meet. I think this is the second photo finish he’s won for us like this.  Tama County (a winner Nov. 17) was also owned by (David and Holly Wilson) and he had no chance, like this horse, at the sixteenth pole, but won it.  Oddly enough, Gary Stevens won a race for me here on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24, 2000) on a horse named Jingle Bell Hop and that was the last race on the card.  It’s almost hard to enjoy the win when you think this is the last race at this race track.  When I started training here, I think it took me a year to win my first race and to have it end like this just seems surreal.”

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Kudos to Hollywood Park track announcer Vic Stauffer for his final race call in Inglewood. It was great.

“That’s a wrap.”

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Saturday’s top choice winners: 3 (Katie’s Garden $5, fourth race; Sensationalize $16, seventh; Swiss Lake Yodeler $3.80, 10th)

Saturday’s second choice winners: 0

Saturday’s third choice winners: 0

Saturday’s long shot winners: 3 (Christopher Street $13, first; Courtside $18.60, second; Anniversary Kitty $14, 11th)

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Sunday’s top choice winners: 3 (Handsome Dennis $11.20, fourth race; Moon Ride $4.40, sixth; Koukla $5.60, eighth)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 3 (Maxx the Giant $11.60, first; Woodlandsway $6, second; Califoornia Chrome $6.40, 10th)

Sunday’s third choice winners: 0

Sunday’s long shot winners: 1 (Jet Blue Girl $5.40, fifth)

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

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