For the second time in as many years, Suffolk Downs has increased the minimum purses for stakes. And in another Massachusetts development, the Brockton Fair has expressed an interest in live racing once again.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2003, the minimum purse for a stakes at Suffolk will be $35,000, up from the current minimum of $30,000. In addition, the $50,000 Ernie Lowe Stallion Stakes for Massachusetts-breds sired by a registered Massachusetts sire will be added. The stakes is named for the longtime New England trainer who died in July 2002.
The purse hike to $35,000 means the stakes will now be considered black-type races.
In an unrelated development, with the recent announcement that Rockingham Park in New Hampshire will shift from a Thoroughbred to a Standardbred meet for 2003, Brockton Fair told the Boston Globe it would approach the Massachusetts legislature about applying for supplemental dates. The Brockton Fair, which raced in the summer of 2001 but not last year, did not file for dates. But the Carney family said it would file for 60 dates and 500 slot machines, should the legislature approve racetrack gaming, for its fairgrounds located south of Boston.
Brockton is looking to run in July and August.