I lived about 3 miles from there when I was a kid in the mid 1960s/early 1970s. I can’t remember my parents ever driving us there but I figured out how to get there on my own when I was 9 or 10-ish. I saved up my lawn mowing money and bought a cheap Zebco fishing rod at Sears. On my trips to Santa Monica pier I went right past the hippodrome to the fishing area at the end, where I spent many happy hours of my childhood - back when free-range kids weren’t a reason for hysteria.
The history is interesting, but the venue is still not quite as exciting as its name might have you believe.
If I’m not mistaken, they used this place for The Sting. There were a number of scenes filmed around L.A. that stood in for the greater Chicago area.
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