Lights Out For Hollywood Park's Friday Night Racing

Hollywood Park plans to move its Friday night racing to the afternoons to cope with the state's ongoing power crisis.

Post time for the first Friday night, April 20, will start at its traditional 7:15 p.m. But the post time for the remaining 12 Fridays during the track's spring meet will begin at 3:30 p.m.

"We don't think it is fiscally or civically responsible to race on Friday nights," said Hollywood president Rick Baedeker. "But in the course of considering alternatives, we think a twilight post might turn out to be a positive solution in many ways. In addition to solving the energy crunch, we think it might prove convenient for fans to arrive before rush hour and leave after traffic."

The change in start times was approved by the California Horse Racing Board Friday.

Track officials hope to conserve energy and save money with the schedule change. Baedeker also believes the earlier post time will benefit simulcast wagering offered by the track's parent company -- Churchill Downs -- which owns facilities in Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, and Illinois.

Mooney said the track has also purchased four generators that will provide energy for the track, an adjacent casino and the stable areas. However, the generators can't provide enough juice for lights during night racing.

Los Alamitos race track briefly conducted daytime races in mid-January when rolling blackouts were an imminent threat. Los Alamitos has since resumed night races.