Ten Things You Should Know: Hollywood Gold Cup
Hollywood Gold Cup
Awesome Gem upsets Rail Trip to earn his first Grade 1 in the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup (Eclipse Sportswire)

1) The Hollywood Gold Cup is a Grade 1 race run over the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. The race is run at a distance of 1 1/4 miles and is open to 3-year-olds and up.

2) The race was run for the first time in 1938 and has been run every year since with the exception of 1942 and 1943, when Hollywood Park was closed because of the Second World War. The 2013 running will be the last at Hollywood Park. The track is scheduled to close at the end of the year.

3) In 1949, a few weeks prior to opening for the racing season, a fire destroyed the grandstand and clubhouse at Hollywood Park. Santa Anita hosted that year’s Hollywood meet including the Gold Cup, won by a horse named Solidarity.

4) Along with the Santa Anita Handicap and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar, the Hollywood Gold Cup is one of the premier races for older horses in California.

5) A colt named Quack set the track and world record for 1 1/4 miles in the 1972 Hollywood Gold Cup when he stopped the clock in 1:58.20. In 2009, Rail Trip set the stakes record on a synthetic track, finishing in 2:00.75.

6) Seabiscuit won the inaugural Gold Cup in 1938. It was his one and only appearance over the Hollywood Park racing strip.

7) In 1951, in the final race of his career, the great Citation won Hollywood Gold Cup. The winner’s purse made him the first horse to ever surpass $1 million in career earnings.

8) In the 1970’s, trainer Charlie Whittingham won five editions of the race, including four in a row from 1971 to 1974. His winners were Ack Ack (1971), Quack (1972), Kennedy Road (1973), Tree of Knowledge (1974), and Exceller (1978).

9) Affirmed, the last colt to win the Triple Crown, won the 1979 edition of the Hollywood Gold Cup. He also won that year’s Santa Anita Handicap.

10) A former claiming horse and California superstar named Lava Man won three straight editions of the Gold Cup starting in 2005. Native Diver also won three straight from 1965 to 1967.

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