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An afternoon at the Races in Hollywood

Horse Racing at Hollywood Park then a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame

sunny 23 °C
View 2013 Round the World Trip on FrancisRTW's travel map.

The Hollywood Park Race Track was opened in 1938 by the Hollywood Turf Club which included many stars, directors and producers of the film world amongst its shareholders. That year the legendary Seabiscuit (on whom the 2003 film of the same name was based) won the inaugural running of the Hollywood Gold Cup, the track’s signature race. Unfortunately it has been announced that the track will close at the end of 2013 for good so our visit was the last chance to see it before it is built over with condos.

The Turf Club Entrance at the Hollywood Park Race Track

The Turf Club Entrance at the Hollywood Park Race Track


My spectacular first view of the Hollywood Park Race Track

My spectacular first view of the Hollywood Park Race Track


Rows of seat boxes at the Hollywood Park Race Track

Rows of seat boxes at the Hollywood Park Race Track

The dated elegance of the track was stunning with row upon row of very smart boxes for spectators all the way down to track side although it was pretty empty the day we were there. We were in the Turf Club with excellent views of the course and finishing post along with personal waiter service at our table. Beneath the seats it was also very well kept with the frequent references to the Gold Cup reminding me of the Cheltenham Gold Cup back home.

The Turf Club Terrace at the Hollywood Park Race Track

The Turf Club Terrace at the Hollywood Park Race Track


Studying the Form (and Menu) at our table on the Turf Club Terrace of the Hollywood Park Race Track

Studying the Form (and Menu) at our table on the Turf Club Terrace of the Hollywood Park Race Track


Escalator upto the Gold Cup Restaurant at the Hollywood Park Race Track

Escalator upto the Gold Cup Restaurant at the Hollywood Park Race Track

The track itself was immaculate and like a picture postcard with two pretty lakes and palm trees in the centre. The occasional aircraft flew low overhead as the track is directly under the final 3 miles of the flight path into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Watering the track between races at Hollywood Park

Watering the track between races at Hollywood Park


Hollywood Park Race Track with a plane coming into land at LAX overhead

Hollywood Park Race Track with a plane coming into land at LAX overhead

Before each race there was an opportunity to go down to the paddock and view the horses as they warmed up. We were allowed into the centre of the ring so I think they mistook us for owners! Before each race a trumpeter would announce it with a blast of his trumpet and the horses would then be loaded into the starting gate.

Horse being led around the Paddock at Hollywood Park before the 7th Race

Horse being led around the Paddock at Hollywood Park before the 7th Race


Trumpeter uses his trumpet to herald the next race while TV Commentators debate it in their tent in the foreground

Trumpeter uses his trumpet to herald the next race while TV Commentators debate it in their tent in the foreground


Loading the horses into the Starting Gate at Hollywood Park Race Track

Loading the horses into the Starting Gate at Hollywood Park Race Track

Before each race we placed small bets at the betting desk behind the Turf Club Terrace, very different from the rows of bookies with boards quoting their odds I am use to back home. The starting gates would then open and the race get underway with the horses galloping around the track. We actually did quite well, I placed 5 bets and came away with 1 winner and 2 second place!

Horses racing around the Hollywood Park Race Track - One Lap to Go!

Horses racing around the Hollywood Park Race Track - One Lap to Go!


Horses racing around the Hollywood Park Race Track - The final dash for the finishing line, it's looking close!

Horses racing around the Hollywood Park Race Track - The final dash for the finishing line, it's looking close!

After a successful afternoon at the races we drove into the heart of Hollywood in search of the Hollywood Sign and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On the way we passed the Capitol Records Tower built in 1956 when EMI acquired Capital Records and now a heritage listed building. Where best to see the sign wasn't obvious but after a drive around the narrow streets of the Hollywood Hills and asking a local we got our postcard shot from Beechwood Drive.

The intersection of Sunset and Vine at the heart of Hollywood

The intersection of Sunset and Vine at the heart of Hollywood


The Capital Records Tower in Hollywood

The Capital Records Tower in Hollywood

A Police Black-and-White on patrol in Hollywood

A Police Black-and-White on patrol in Hollywood


The Hollywood Sign from Beechwood Drive

The Hollywood Sign from Beechwood Drive

It was then time for a stroll along the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. Started in 1958, it consists of over 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard honouring achievement in the entertainment industry.

Where the Hollywood Walk of Fame began in 1958

Where the Hollywood Walk of Fame began in 1958


Steven Spielberg's Star on Hollywood Boulevard

Steven Spielberg's Star on Hollywood Boulevard


Sylvester Stalone's Star on Hollywood Boulevard

Sylvester Stalone's Star on Hollywood Boulevard


Bruce Lee's Star on Hollywood Boulevard

Bruce Lee's Star on Hollywood Boulevard

Part of the way along the Hollywood Walk of Fame is the famous Chinese Theatre built in 1927. In its forecourt there are concrete blocks which bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of famous movie stars from the 1920s up until the present day.

The Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard

The Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard


The Hollywood Sign viewed through a shopping centre on Hollywood Boulevard

The Hollywood Sign viewed through a shopping centre on Hollywood Boulevard

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in USA Tagged animals california sport videos film_locations

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