The 1984 Breeders' Cup
Though Hollywood Park had long been the site of some of Thoroughbred racing's greatest moments, it had never staged anything quite like what happened on November 10, 1984.
That day marked the culmination of a long held goal, one that was the brainchild of John Gaines, the head of Gainesway Farm. Several years earlier, Gaines had a vision that entailed a showdown of horses facing off in one setting to decide year-end divisional honors. Older Horse, Older Mare, Turf Male and Female, and Horse of the Year. All the best horses and jockeys would converge on one track to settle the awards in front of thousands. World class racing would be the order of the day, and history was going to be made with it.
Gaines's vision became the Breeders' Cup, and Hollywood Park was selected as the track to play host to the inaugural event. It was a perfect union. Racing's elite meeting with the stars of Hollywood in Southern California, long a major region for Thoroughbred racing with Hollywood Park and Santa Anita based there. The Breeders' Cup was going to be on television as well, giving Hollywood Park an audience in the millions. Those who saw exciting racing with figures from the entertainment world on hand were going to watch a sport filled with glamour and elements of everyday life.
Racing fans knew the day was going to be special, and more than 60,000 came to Inglewood, California to be part of history. Those that were there in person would not forget what they saw at the Track of the Lakes and Flowers.