Santa Anita to Honor Gil Stratton
Date Posted: 2/14/2008 8:35:55 PM
Last Updated: 2/14/2008 9:29:58 PM

Santa Anita will honor Gil Stratton, a former Los Angeles sportscaster and actor who hosted a popular weekly television racing show on the CBS affiliates for 34 western markets from 1955 to the early 1970s, on Feb. 17.

The 30-minute show presented the stakes race of the week live from Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar. Highlights such as as George Royal's touching win in the 1966 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap -- John Longden's last ride -- were aired on the show.

The late Harry Henson called the races and the show featured Stratton interviews and racing segments.

“To anyone who was a racing fan back in the ‘60s and into the ‘70s, Gil Stratton was a guy you knew and respected,” said Santa Anita President Ron Charles. “Not only through his Saturday show, but with his general sports work here in L.A., Gil helped to create an entire generation of dedicated fans. He was truly beloved by many and we are very, very, proud to be able to honor him here on Sunday.”

Santa Anita will name an allowance race “The Gil Stratton” and he will also be the subject of video tributes throughout the day. He was a successful Broadway and Hollywood actor as well as sportscaster, including a prominent role in Stalag 17. Stratton also had roles in The Wild One with Marlon Brando, and Girl Crazy, in which he appeared with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.


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