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Hollywood Park closing in December

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Betfair Hollywood Park will close before the end of the year.

In a letter to the California Race Board on Thursday, track president Jack Liebau wrote that it will close at the end of its fall meet on Dec. 22, according to Bloodhorse.com.

The news comes two weeks before the CHRB starts considering its 2014 schedule. The letter said Hollywood Park would not seek race dates for next year. The board meets in Sacramento on May 23.

Hollywood Park is in its 75th year of racing. It hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships in 1984, '87 and '97.

Another California track, Bay Meadows, closed in 2008.

"When Hollywood Park was purchased in 2005 from Churchill Downs Inc., the (Bay Meadows) Land Company stated that racing would continue for a minimum of three years, and promised that during the three-year period, a concerted effort would be made to improve racing's business model," Liebau wrote in the letter. "Without success, (the company) spent millions on two statewide initiatives that would have brought slot machines to Hollywood Park, and thereby assured the continuation of racing.

"In the absence of a favorable change in racing's business model, the ultimate development of the Hollywood property was inevitable. Sadly for we who love racing and Hollywood Park, it was simply a matter of time."

The track will be redeveloped into 3,000 new housing units, 25 acres of parkland and a retail and entertainment district with a movie theater, office space and a 300-room hotel. A card casino currently operating on the property is expected to be renovated as well.

Hollywood Park's summer meet runs through July 14 and the fall meet starts Nov. 7.
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