Hollywood Gold Cup

The Hollywood Gold Cup is an American Grade I stakes race for thoroughbred horses inaugurated in 1938 at Hollywood Park Racetrack in Inglewood, California. It was run as a handicap race until 1997, when it was switched to weight-for-age conditions. In 2005, the Gold Cup returned to the original handicap format.

The Hollywood Gold Cup is run over a distance of 1¼ miles on Cushion Track synthetic dirt and currently carries a purse of $750,000. It is open to three-year-olds and up and is one of the premier races on the West Coast of the United States, along with the Santa Anita Handicap from Santa Anita Park, and the Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar Racetrack.

Only three mares have ever won the Hollywood Gold Cup. Happy Issue was the first in 1944, followed by Two Lea in 1952 and Princessnesian in 1968.

Hollywood Park Racetrack opened its doors on June 10, 1938, and Seabiscuit, under jockey George Woolf, won the $50,000 added race's inaugural running on July 16.

The race was not run in 1942 or 1943, due to Hollywood Park being closed and used as an airplane parts storage depot during World War II.

In 1949, the Hollywood Gold Cup, as well as the entire 1949 meeting, was held at Santa Anita Park, due to a devastating fire at Hollywood Park on the night of May 5, 1949. Solidarity won the 1949 running on July 16. The Hollywood Park grandstand was rebuilt and the facility reopened in time for a two-part split 1950 season. The 1950 Hollywood Gold Cup, won by Noor, was held in the second part or Fall–Winter part of the split, on December 9, 1950. The following summer, the race returned to its usual mid-July running and Citation, in his final race, won the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 14, 1951, becoming the first thoroughbred racehorse to hit the career earnings mark of one million dollars.

In 1980, Mary Lou Tuck became the first woman trainer to win the Hollywood Gold Cup with Go West Young Man.

In 1999, the Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century was published and there were fourteen horses on the list that had won the Hollywood Gold Cup: Citation, Affirmed, Round Table, Cigar, Swaps, Seabiscuit, Skip Away, Gallant Man, Challedon, Ack Ack, Native Diver, Noor, Two Lea and Exceller.

In the 73rd running of the Hollywood Gold Cup in 2012, Chantal Sutherland, aboard Game On Dude, became the first female jockey to win the race. The victory was a sweet vindication, as Game On Dude had also been Sutherland's mount in the previous year's running in 2011. Having finished second by a nose to First Dude, the tough loss had given Chantal the distinction of being the first female jockey to have a mount in the Hollywood Gold Cup, yet it would be the following year for the same jockey/horse pairing to take the prize.

Read more about Hollywood Gold Cup:  Records, Winners of The Hollywood Gold Cup Since 1938

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