As New England Thoroughbred horsemen and stakeholders continue to stare at a precarious fate in the industry, The Stronach Group is looking at possible expansion into the region.
As Suffolk Downs readies to open for its six days of racing this year, track officials were hard hit with the news that horses stabled at Monmouth Park will not be allowed to return to the stable area there if they are shipped to compete in Boston.
With the Race Horse Development Fund, which was created to give the struggling Massachusetts horse racing and breeding industry a lifeline, now in serious peril, Thoroughbred horsemen traveled to the state capitol in Boston to lobby lawmakers June 7.
The sale of Suffolk Downs to a major Boston real estate development company was green-lighted by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission at a public hearing March 30, but the deal will not adversely affect the six-day live meet planned for this summer.
The owners of Suffolk Downs have sent a document to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission asking for formal approval of the sale of the property to a major Boston-based real estate development company.
The Horse People's Alliance of Ontario is calling for increased transparency and more accountability in the industry and in regulation because of concerns about changes to Woodbine purses in 2017.
There is no agreement in place to sell Suffolk Downs to a real estate developer, but the property remains on the market, according to the track's management.
Carlos R. Figueroa, a longtime New England trainer and the self-styled "King of the Fairs," passed away Jan. 3 in New Hampshire from complications of pneumonia. He was 88.
The members of the newly formed Horse People's Alliance of Ontario, which represents Thoroughbred, Standardbred, and Quarter Horse stakeholders throughout the Canadian province, have taken another step forward by forming an advisory committee.
While there are no guarantees, the door has been left open for Suffolk Downs to continue to offer a limited number of live racing days beyond the 2017 season.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission settled a long and acrimonious dispute over simulcasting revenues between the management teams of Suffolk Downs and Raynham Greyhound Park Oct. 13 by ruling in favor of the Thoroughbred track.
While the Suffolk Downs ownership group moves forward with plans to redevelop the property as real estate, it intends to again host an abbreviated Thoroughbred meet next summer.
The New England HBPA called for unity among owners and trainers, inviting members of rival Massachusetts Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association to discuss plans for the development of a non-profit equine center.
New England track was seeking funds to run a 15-day meet in 2016.
The financial penalty recently imposed by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association on Monmouth Park-stabled trainers who run at Suffolk Downs and then try to return did not keep anyone away from the starting gate in Massachusetts Aug. 6.
Horsemen in New England will have to wait longer to see if live racing can return to the Brockton Fairgrounds this year.
Monmouth Park has engaged Suffolk Downs in a battle over the entry box, and the horsemen feel caught in the crossfire.
The potential return of live racing to the Brockton Fairgrounds was delayed once again July 21, when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission tabled the track's request for funds to cover the administrative and operational expenses of running a live meet.
The creation of a non-profit Thoroughbred racetrack and equine center in Massachusetts advanced closer to reality with the release of a favorable independent feasibility study July 8.
A statewide referendum to allow a slots parlor adjacent to Suffolk Downs will move forward after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled June 28 the question can be on the November ballot.
The possible return of live racing to the Brockton Fairgrounds has been pushed back on the calendar after the owners requested their petition for funding from the Race Horse Development Fund be pulled from the agenda for a public hearing June 23.
Thoroughbred horsemen in Massachusetts will get a significantly smaller allocation of the state's multimillion dollar Race Horse Development Fund for purses and breeders' awards.
The New England HBPA alleges a rival horsemen's group violated the Interstate Horseracing Act when it signed a purse contract with the Brockton Fairgrounds without its consent as the authorized horsemen’s group in Massachusetts.
Rockingham Park, New England's first track that debuted with a Thoroughbred meet in 1906, has reached the finish line and will shutter its doors for good Aug. 31.
The Mass Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the Carney Family, owners of the Brockton Fairgrounds, have finalized a two-year purse agreement for 30 days of live racing at the facility in 2016 and 2017.
In an attempt to keep Thoroughbred racing alive in Massachusetts, the New England HBPA has formed a coalition that is intent upon building a new, non-profit equine center and racetrack in the state.
A subcommittee of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission March 29 opted to delay a vote and instead solicit input on the percentage of revenue Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses and breeding funds get from casino gaming.
An official with Rockingham Park, which remains open for simulcasts but hasn't offered live racing since 2009, confirmed March 24 that the property will be put on the market.
The New Hampshire Senate voted Feb. 18 to table a bill authorizing one casino to be located at Rockingham Park, dealing yet another blow to hopes for the revitalization of the track and the return of live Thoroughbred racing.
Given the lack of political will to enact casino gambling in New Hampshire during the current legislative session, Rockingham Park appears headed to the sales block for redevelopment.
A ballot question that would allow a slot machine parlor near Suffolk Downs has cleared a hurdle and could appear on the statewide Massachusetts ballot in November.
Live Thoroughbred racing can return to Brockton Fairgrounds for the first time since 2001 and Suffolk Downs will double the days of its live meet in 2016.
The horsemen of New England agree that live racing and breeding is in serious peril in the region, but the rival factions of owners, trainers, and breeders remain deeply divided on the optimum way to revitalize the industry.
The ownership groups of Suffolk Downs and the Brockton Fairgrounds, which has not hosted Thoroughbred racing since 2001, have filed applications with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for live racing dates in 2016.
Bettors on track and at simulcast outlets across the country will have an incentive at Suffolk Downs Oct. 3: The pari-mutuel takeout to a rate has been lowered to 15% across the board.
The sunny disposition of those on track was the polar opposite of the one seen last Oct. 4 for the 2014 meet's closing day, when the dismal crowd figured they were witnessing the bitter end of live racing.
Suffolk Downs management and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association are keeping the lamp lit for the Massachusetts Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry.
One year after the ownership group of Suffolk Downs announced it would no longer host live racing and subsequently shuttered the barn area, the track will reopen its doors Sept. 5 for the first of three racing programs.
All operations at Suffolk Downs have returned to normal after tests came back negative on five horses who developed elevated temperatures after one horse stabled on the backside died from a case of equine herpes myelitis earlier this month.
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