Friday, July 10, 2009

Bitter "Sweet" Gold Cup for Hollywood

I started thinking about what to write for my latest article and thought I'd talk about what the column is geared toward, the three-year-old campaigns. But I just so happen to be in Santa Monica California right now, anticipating my first trip to Hollywood Park, and I was overcome with anger about the race track's impending demolition, and I had to go with my heart. It's not long, and it hardly says what should be said about the tragedy of destroying this historic establishment, but here's my article about the last Hollywood Gold Cup.

I wanted to rant about how ridiculous it was about Pioneerof the Nile's sudden retirement after it was discovered he had a "soft tissue" damage in one of his legs. Can somebody please explain to me if this is really a life-threatening injury, nevermind a career-threatening injury? This horse looked to become a great synthetics specialist, and maybe even a good turf horse. Now we'll never get to see him try to make up for his losses in the Triple Crown. I just can't believe how we're losing horses. Musket Man isn't retired, but he won't be racing for the rest of the year. Monba was retired after he was found to have an injury in his leg. And then I discovered the winner of the Golden Shaheen, in which Indian Blessing finished second, died of a stomach ailment.

What's going on in our sport? When the horses are dropping like flies, whether it be dying or retiring prematurely, something is amiss. No wonder people aren't following horse racing like they used to.

As for me, I am going to visit Hollywood Park for the first time today. It's going to be night racing for my inaugural visit, something I've never seen before. It's going to be extremely bittersweet, but I'm looking at it as a mission to photograph anything worth remembering.

I'm going to be taking a LOT of photos.

I can't wait for tomorrow. I have credentials for the Hollywood Gold Cup. I didn't know I'd be having this chance, or I'd've been looking forward to this. I can't wait, it's going to be just glorious!

Now, onto the traffic jam of L.A....


  1. Indeed how bittersweet that you will be attending what could be (probably is) the last Hollywood Gold Cup. At least at that track, in its historic form.

    I got a blog visit from one of the owners of Informed who read a post I wrote about him and invited me to the paddock for the Gold Cup. Considering I'm 3,000 miles away on Friday night, it ain't happening.

    But if you get close enough to say "hello" to them, say "hi" for me and snap me a picture of that guy and his rider in the awesome "For Rent" silks. That's one of my favorite stories in racing this season.

    Enjoy the race, bittersweet though it will be. And a safe trip to all.

  2. Wow, you sure are getting around. Gold Cup was a good race. Looking forward to the pix, VF