DEL MAR (CBS 8) - The remains of a famous race horse are being exhumed from a plot at the now-closed Hollywood Park. USC archaeology students are digging the bones up, and plan to move them for re-burial at the Del Mar racetrack.
In its day, Hollywood Park was the place to be for some of the most famous, and the thoroughbreds they bet on. Buried at Hollywood Park is Native Diver, a horse who won the prestigious Hollywood Gold Cup three years in a row in the 1960s.
"The grandson of the owner is a good friend of mine, and we talked and I said bring him down here, let's give the old guy a permanent resting place," Del Mar Thoroughbred Club CEO Joe Harper said.
Harper says that native diver dominated at Del Mar as well.
"He was just an incredible horse. He won the toughest stakes we had. He won the Hollywood Gold Cup three years in a row and every time he'd win it with a little faster time. He won the San Diego Handicap, which was our big race here in those days, three years in a row," Harper said.
He also was the seventh horse to earn $1 million, and that was in a time when a purse was $10,000 to $20,000. Even in the end, he went out as a winner.
"He was just an incredible horse. He won his last race ever here at Del Mar. Shortly after that he got colic and unfortunately passed away.
Native Diver will be joining Direct Express, a harness horse, and Star Fiddle, the winner of the inaugural Del Mar Futurity in 1946.
"We'll be redoing the resting place here at Boot Hill at Del Mar and make it much nicer and give him a really good spot," Harper said.