Friday, December 27, 2013


Last Saturday at Hollywood Park was the last time that I will see the inside of one of the oldest racetracks in this country. Hollywood Park was the first racetrack that I went to when I arrived in Los Angeles back in 1981. Over the years Hollywood Park and horse racing have lost its luster and finally the old race track could not make a profit. The last race was on Sunday December 22, 2013 and below is the results of the 11th at Hollywood.

11th race - Betfair Hollywood Park - Sunday, December 22, 2013
  Off at: 6:11   Race Type: Starter AllowanceVideo Race Replay
  Age Restriction: Three Year Old and Upward
  Purse: $50,000
  Distance: One And One Sixteenth Miles On The Turf
  Track Condition: Firm
  Winning Time: 1:41.66
5Woodmans LuckCorey S. Nakatani13.605.804.60
11DepreciableJoseph Talamo 5.203.80
9Danderek (GB)Rafael Bejarano  3.20
Also ran: 8 - Mr. Candy Bar , 4 - Anythingscookin , 7 - So Elite , 12 - Insideondoutside , 6 - Soul Candy , 3 -Poshsky , 2 - Moonlit Meteor , 10 - Twin Six , 1 - Tommy Danzigger
Scratched horsesNo Contingency  (Also-Eligible) , Buenos Dias (IRE)  (Also-Eligible)
Wager TypeWinning NumbersPayoff
$1 Pick 38-8-5 (3 correct)352.50
$0.50 Pick 48-8-4/8-5 (4 correct)751.75
$2 Pick 61/10-9-8-8-4/8-5 (6 correct)159,757.80
$2 Pick 61/10-9-8-8-4/8-5 (5 correct)937.80
$2 Daily Double8-541.00
$1 Exacta5-1143.60
$2 Quinella5-1138.20
$1 Superfecta5-11-9-81,641.20
$1 Super High Five5-11-9-8-410,435.60
$1 Trifecta5-11-9138.70
Winning Breeder: Mr. & Mrs. Larry Williams
Winning OwnerWilson, Holly and David
Winning TrainerVladimir Cerin

Saturday was a reunion of sorts because many of the characters that have haunted Hollywood came together for the last weekend of this track. Below is view from my seat at Hollywood and the cast of characters have not arrived.

Sandman was in his usual spot and still giving out tips to the TVG announcers. Stu the Swim Coach  showed up and never lost a race (at least that is what he says but never shows his tickets) and he rooted against everybody's bets because he has 2 dollars on the chalk. All the stooges were there, Moe, Larry, Curly and Shemp. There were the same degenerates that will cash a big ticket for you and take a percentage. This turned into a pretty good argument halfway through the day when Sandman gave a percentage of his ticket to one of the ticket cashing degenerates. This degenerate felt he was getting short changed and Sandman got so frustrated and said, "I can't believe I'm arguing with you over my money." Mush even stopped by to explain to the masses that he is probably going to give up going to the track since Hollywood is closing. When I left for the day and said goodbye to Sandman and the other characters, I realized that the curtain has come down on an era that I will never see again. Who knows if all of these characters will be in the same spot at Santa Anita or Los Alamitos. Big question is if these same characters will even go to Santa Anita or Los Alamitos

Some of the characters

Never a dull moment


Sandman directing a Stooge

During a break in my betting, I took a walk around the track to take a last glimpse of the place. I found an area that had been closed for many years and I decided that I was going to take a look around. What are they going to do, kick me out and never let me come back?  

These areas were at one time filled with people making bets at windows with real people and watching the simulcasts on tiny tube televisions 

This track became the casualty after two companies made their money and moved on. This track's closing will leave a hole on the national racing scene as well as in Los Angeles.

Hollywood Park was bought by Churchill Downs in an attempt to lay a claim by expanding nationally. After six years of owning the track, Churchill Downs became frustrated with the State of California and it's inability to expand casino gambling beyond the Native Indians and it sold the track. In 2005 Churchill Downs sold the track to Bay Meadows Land Company and made a $120 million dollar profit. Bay Meadows was also hoping on getting slot machines through the California legislatures and that failed miserably. Bay Meadows wanted out but the real estate market collapsed, so they held on. In 2013, the real estate market improved and Bay Meadows Land Company cashed in and that was all for Hollywood Park.

Hollywood Park opened it's doors on June 10, 1938 and was a success after one year. It's stakes program attracted some of the nations biggest names. The $50,000.00 Hollywood Gold Cup was won by Seabiscuit.  Hollywood Park grew to be a national leader in both attendance and handle. The question now is which tracks will pick up more than the three dozen graded stakes races that Hollywood hosted.

Hollywood Park has become a race track that mirrored it's surroundings of Inglewood California. Across the parking lot you can see what is left of the Fabulous Forum, the home of the Lakers and the Kings but those two teams have moved to a better area with a better home. Inglewood is a blighted, tired and rundown city and that is exactly what the inside of Hollywood Park started to look like over the last number of years.

As I walked to my car, I looked back one more time and looked at the track that introduced me to California Horse Racing and all I could say was thank you for a real good time.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Just the sight of Lundquist being pulled from a game makes you wonder, "How did they get this bad?" It's a simple answer.

Last season they had a defensive minded coach and they traded away offensive style players so as to fit the game plan.  The team decides to fire the coach and get an offensive minded coach. Now you are left with defensive oriented players trying to work in an offensive style system. When the dust settles on this idea, you are left with the 2013-2014 New York Rangers.

Alain Vigneault pointed out that he is not quite sure the Rangers have the personnel to play an offensive-oriented game. Even the coach sees the problem and if he is going to succeed with this team he has to put a system into place that fits his personnel.


Congratulations to my high school in winning the 2013 PSAL Football Championship. The Railsplitters of Lincoln High School have won their second PSAL Championship in the last three years.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Tonight the Nets take on the Boston Celtics. At this point of the season we all thought that it would be the Nets in first place and the Celtics as the also ran. Little did we know that the entire Atlantic Conference would be under .500.

Kidd has to go. I know that Kidd is dealing with a team that is extremely banged up but I do believe that he is in way over his head.

Since I have tried to install a new head coach for the Jets, here is my pick(s) for the coaching position of the Nets. My nod goes to either of the Van Gundy brothers. Jeff Van Gundy would bring a defensive philosophy to the Nets. This would be a major change from the "I have no clue" philosophy of Kidd. Jeff Van Gundy is well respected and I think he would be a perfect fit for Garnett and Pierce. Stan Van Gundy has been successful wherever he has coached and I think he could really turn this team around.

Last year Avery Johnson was axed before everything went south. Prokhorov needs to do something before the entire season is sunk.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


When this season ends the Jets need to get rid of Rex Ryan and hire Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as the new head coach. Ryan has always thought of himself as a defensive genius and he is very good on that side of the ball but his teams offense has been atrocious throughout his tenure. Let's look at some stats.

Percentage of passes completed since 2009 - 55% - lowest in the league.
Fewest yards by a leading receiver for any team through 12 games since 1986 - 347 for Jeremy Kerley
Current ranking for points scored, point differential and turnovers - 31st
Passer rating is 68.1 since 2009 - lowest in the league
13,959 passing yards since the start of the 2009 season - fewest in the league

Those are the highlights and someone has to answer for that and that person is the head coach, period.

Darrell Bevell has worked with Idzik in Seattle. Bevell has worked with Brett Favre in Green Bay, he has developed Russell Wilson and he has put Seattle's offense on the top of the list with 340 points scored to date. The Jets have had four consecutive defensive minded head coaches and you can see where that has got them. Time to try something different and that's a head coach that has a knowledge of the offensive side of the ball.

Today the Jets play the Raiders and let's see if they can muster more than 3 points.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Last night in Minnesota, Andy Pettitte struck out his 1958th batter as a New York Yankee. He has passed the Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford to become #1 on the all time Yankees list. This same evening, Joe Girardi managed a baseball team to his 600th win. Congrats to both.

This season has seen four of five of the Yankees best hitters on the disabled list, Jeter, Granderson, Teixeira and A-Rod. This has caused the Yankees to become a stagnant offense. They have a team batting average of .239, which puts them at 14th place in the American League. Their slugging percentage is .379, also 14th place and they are 12th in runs scored.

These were not glaring issues at the start of the season because the Yankees pitching staff was holding up. The pitching carried them to a 30-18 record on May 25th. Since then, the pitching staff has been inconsistent. Phelps, Hughes, CC and Pettitte have been struggling. Hiroki Kuroda, has been their most dependable starter but in his last seven starts he has been 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA.

Things don't look great for the second half. Even if Jeter, Granderson and A-Rod come back, I don't think that it will be enough to save them.

Let's enjoy watching Mo's last year in pinstripes and not worry about where they are in the standings.

Monday, July 1, 2013


The Brooklyn Nets have become a better team with the addition of Garnett and Pierce. The Nets have become older but they have gotten better. Garnett is great at setting picks, Pierce is good at the pick and roll and Lopez is a great scorer from the middle. Add Williams who will get 15 assists a game and one of the most clutch players in the league in Joe Johnson. On the defensive side of the ball, Garnett makes Lopez a better defender and also the team as a whole. Garnett brings an intangible to the team and that is a winning attitude. The downside of this line-up is that they will not be able to keep up with a running team during the season. This has become a grind it out team.

The starting line-up is going to be fun to watch, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, KG, Paul Pierce and Brook Lopez. Right now the bench can become an issue. Their glaring whole is an athletic guard coming off the bench. Another spot that is a question mark is Jason Kidd. Question to ponder is, would the Nets have hired Jason Kidd if they already had KG and Pierce or would of they went for a proven coach? The one thing that they did do was hire Lawrence Frank as an assistant.

The summer is not over and word is that the Nets are looking to bring Jason Collins back. They definitely can use him coming off the bench. With this line-up, I'm looking forward to the start of the season.