The last vestige of Bay Meadows is a three-day auction that will offer all that remains of the 75-year-old track before the wrecking ball arrives. The auction's 2,600 lots run the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime and back again. Want a popcorn machine? They've got it. Want some Fred Stone prints and murals? Raise your hand. A photo of Ralph Neves, the Hall of Fame jockey, standing with Oliver Hardy caught my eye. Where was Stan Laurel? I didn't think those two ever went out in public unless they were together.

The winner's circle scale; seats from the grandstand; photos of virtually every winner of the El Camino Real Derby; barstools; chandeliers from the Turf Club; the grand piano from the Turf Club; a large color print of Barry Bonds, slugging one of his home runs: This surely is an auction for the man or woman who has everything. But there is one thing missing, something the auction house never thought of. It's not even tangible, it's not something you could wrap your arms around.

It's the Bill Kyne Handicap.

If the Bill Kyne Handicap was included in the auction, I'd be in the front row, bidding like crazy. Then I'd take the race, what's left of it, and offer it to Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita and Del Mar. And if none of them took it, and wouldn't agree to run it next year and all the rest of the years, I'd never speak to them again.

The subject of the future of the Bill Kyne Handicap came up accidentally during an interview I had with Marylin Kyne Gunderson at her home in the Marina District of San Francisco the day after Bay Meadows ran its last race.

"Will the Kyne ever be run again?" I asked of Bill Kyne's daughter.

"I wouldn't think so," she said. On her dining-room table was a stack of winner's circle pictures from previous runnings of the Kyne.

"Maybe Golden Gate will start running it," I said.

"I doubt that," she said.

The Kyne Handicap was first run in 1954, two years before the death, at age 69, of Bill Kyne, who sold California voters on parimutuel betting in 1933 and then built Bay Meadows in 209 days, in time for its opening in November of 1934.

The Kyne Handicap had a tough act to follow after its first running. Imbros' win in 1954 came a couple of hours after Determine had won the Kentucky Derby. Determine and Imbros were both owned by Andy Crevolin and trained by Willie Molter. Ray York rode Determine, Johnny Longden was Imbros' jockey. Crevolin became the first owner to win a pair of $100,000 races on the same day.

While the Kyne was a $100,000 race from the start, it was quickly downsized by 1958, a posthumous slap in the face for the man who put Northern California racing on the map and, through his successful battle for parimutuels, helped open the door for Santa Anita to the South. Some years, the Kyne wasn't run at all, and when it got a one-shot renewal in 2006, after a six-year hiatus, Marylin Gunderson was resigned to never seeing her father's name in lights again.

Maybe she'll be right. The ball's in Golden Gate's court. In the event Golden Gate thinks small and says Bill Who? to the Kyne, it is imperative that Santa Anita or Del Mar jumps in. It makes some sense that Santa Anita be first alternate. Kyne and Charles Strub, the founder of Santa Anita, were both San Francisco guys, and the early histories of their tracks were deeply intertwined. Strub wanted to build a track in his hometown, and went to Los Angeles only after Kyne looked at the lay of the land there, found it too expensive for his budget and returned to San Francisco. Hell, run the Strub Stakes and the Kyne Handicap at Santa Anita on the same day. It won't bother me if it doesn't bother you.