Jockey Channing Hill swept the two $75,000 stakes races on the 75th Anniversary Day program at Suffolk Downs July 10 in front of a crowd of 10,310.
Awakino Cat stumbled at the start under Hill, but recovered and rolled to a 1 1/4-length victory for trainer Linda Rice in the Seabiscuit Stakes, taken off the turf due to rain and run at five furlongs on the main track. The gelding is owned by Rice and F E Que Stable.
“Our strategy was the same on or off the turf,” said Hill. “He was a little unsure at first after he stumbled, but his class came through.”
The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Stormy Atlantic out of Ski Racer, by Ski Chief, was bred by Budget Stables. The final time of the race was :58.93 over a sloppy, sealed track. Pacesetter Natural Seven finished second, while True to Tradition ran third.
“This horse did not even get running until a few hundred yards from the finish,” said Hill. “When he collared the other horse in midstretch, I knew he would go by and win.”
Kiaran McLaughlin trains Everyday Heroes, a 4-year-old son of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Awesome Again out of Lucette, by Dayjur. The colt was bred in Kentucky by Marathon Farm and is owned by Darley Stable. The final time in the six-furlong race was 1:11.31.
Suffolk Downs welcomed back an array of personalities who have been part of the track’s 75-year history.
They included Hall of Fame jockeys Chris McCarron and Jerry Bailey and local favorites Carl Gambardella, who won his 5,000th race in 1988 at Suffolk, and Abby Fuller, who began her riding career at Suffolk before winning New York’s Triple Tiara with Mom’s Command. Richard and Tom Phelan, whose parents owned the horse who won the very first race at Suffolk Downs on July 10, 1935, presented the trophy for the winner of the first race of the day, named the “Eddie Wrack” in honor of their parents’ horse.
Built by 3,000 workers in just 62 days, the historic track has been a showcase for some of the most famous names in Thoroughbred racing history, including Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, John Henry, Cigar and Skip Away. The track’s rich tradition extends beyond Thoroughbred racing. On Aug. 18, 1966, the Beatles performed one of their concerts as a group to a crowed of over 25,000 fans.