Former Los Al Owner Everett Dies

Everett also owned Hollywood Park and introduced Pick 6 wager.

March 24, 2012

Los Alamitos

Marjorie Lindheimer Everett, former owner of Hollywood Park who purchased Los Alamitos Race Course in 1983, died Friday morning in her West Los Angeles home. She was 90 years old.

A native of New York, Everett, who grew up in a racing family – her father Benjamin Lindheimer owned Arlington Park and the now defunct Washington Park in Illinois – spent a great portion of her adult life in racetrack management.

She took over as chairwoman at both Arlington and Washington following her father’s death in 1960.

After leaving Illinois and selling her interest in both tracks, Everett came to California, acquiring stock in Hollywood Park, eventually joining management. She was on the board of directors from 1972-1991 and served as chairman, chief executive officer and president of the track from 1985-1991. She resigned after losing a proxy fight in 1991.

During her tenure, Hollywood Park twice hosted the Breeders’ Cup – including the inaugural event in 1984 – and began what is now the Pick 6 in 1983. On May 4, 1980, the track had what remains its largest on-track crowd (80,348) thanks primarily to a tote bag giveaway. More than 68,000 were in attendance when Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew suffered his first defeat to J.O. Tobin in the Swaps Stakes July 3, 1977.

Ms. Everett brought the Pick 6 wager to Southern California, along with the carryover when all six winners aren’t picked. Ms. Everett also was the first track operator to have giveaways for fans that led to a record turnout of 80,348 on May 4, 1980 at Hollywood Park. She introduced night racing at the track after getting approval for fall racing dates in 1981. Under Everett's stewardship, Hollywood Park got the nod to host that first Breeders’ Cup in 1984.

In 1983 she purchased Los Alamitos Race Course from the Vessels family, convincing the California Horse Racing Board to waive a state regulation prohibiting one entity from holding more than one racing license.

But the purchase of Los Alamitos, a property Ms. Everett had hoped to develop, led to financial problems for the Hollywood Park Realty Company, and other shareholders revolted against her. She rebuffed one proxy battle, but lost a bitter proxy fight over control of the track in 1991 to Ruidoso Downs owner R.D. Hubbard. Hollywood Park was later sold to Churchill Downs Inc. and then to its current owner, Bay Meadows Realty Company.

In addition to her career in management, Everett also was a horse owner. The best of her Thoroughbreds was 1975 Charles H. Strub Stakes and Santa Anita Handicap winner Stardust Mel. Trained by Charlie Whittingham and ridden by Bill Shoemaker.

Ms. Everett maintained a low profile in racing after losing control of Hollywood Park, making occasional visits to the track for special events, but preferring the company of her Hollywood friends and her cherished dogs.

Services are pending for Everett.