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Hollywood Park Kicks Off 75th Season April 25

With its future uncertain, Southern California track embarks on 49-day spring meet.

Betfair Hollywood Park opens for its 75th, and perhaps final, season April 25 with an eight-race card headlined by the $70,000 Harry Henson Stakes.

The Inglewood track has not announced its intentions for 2014. Speculation is rampant within the racing industry that Hollywood will be shuttered to make way for commercial and residential development. The track has committed to run through its autumn meet, which ends before Christmas.

The Thursday program is the first of 49 racing days during the spring/summer meet that concludes July 14. Post time is 1 p.m. daily with three exceptions11 a.m. on the Triple Crown days (May 4, May 18, and June 8). The track will run a regular weekly schedule from Thursday-Sunday.

Summer Exclusive heads a field of six entered for the Harry Henson, a six-furlong grass test for 3-year-olds. The race is named for the legendary track announcer who called races at Hollywood Park from 1959-82.

The opening day program also includes the first 2-year-old race of 2013 in Southern California. The 4 1/2-furlong contest, which offers a $52,000 purse, attracted seven California-bred or sired fillies. It goes as the second race.

There is only one deviation from the usual racing schedule, a holiday card for Memorial Day May 27.

Regular prices are $10 for general admission and $20 for turf club. All admissions include parking and an official program.

The popular Players' Pick 5 wager returns. A 50-cent minimum bet, it covers the first five races daily and continues to feature a reduced takeout rate of 14%. There is also a carryover provision should no one be able to isolate all five winners, with 70% of the net pool carrying over to the next racing day.

Highlighting a stakes schedule worth more than $6.8 million are the $350,000 American Oaks and the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, both grade I events.

The Gold Cup will be run for the 74th time July 6. The 12th running of the American Oaks will be July 13.

There are 47 stakes on the calendar, including six grade I races, nine grade II events, and seven grade III stakes. There are 10 days with multiple stakes races, beginning with the $1.1 million California Gold Rush Saturday, April 27.