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.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission took no action Dec. 17 on a request from the Massachusetts THA to be recognized as the legitimate representative of the region's owners and trainers rather than the New England HBPA.
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.
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.
Steven J. Pini, the longtime track superintendent at Suffolk Downs and a third generation employee of the racetrack, suffered a fatal heart attack Sept. 1. He was 63.
Suffolk Downs, which on Sept. 5 will offer its first live racing program in almost a year, said it will subsidize the shipping of horses from seven tracks in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Live racing will return to Suffolk Downs this fall now that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has given formal approval to the application by the racetrack for a three-day meet in 2015.
On the eve of a hearing to approve or deny the application of Suffolk Downs to hold three days of live racing this fall, track management shot down the persistent rumor that The Stronach Group plans to lease the track.
The sizable faction of horsemen dissatisfied with leadership of the New England affiliate of the Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association has splintered to form the new Massachusetts Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
Though Suffolk Downs had published a condition sheet for races Aug. 8, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission July 23 delayed action on the track's application for three live racing dates this year.
A day after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission took no action June 11 on the supplemental application by Suffolk Downs for three days of live racing in 2015, local horsemen remained deeply divided on the plan.
Group expresses strong opposition to the supplemental application of Suffolk Downs to conduct three days of live racing in 2015 at Massachusetts Gaming Commission hearing.
The management of Suffolk Downs, which announced last September that live racing had come to an end, intends to bring back the Thoroughbreds for three racing programs beginning in July this year.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives, which has defeated every casino gambling bill brought to the floor over the past few decades, held true to form April 29 and voted down legislation to allow two casinos.
New England horsemen have asked Suffolk Downs to request three days of live racing this summer, and with $1.5 million available for purses, pots would average $500,000 per program.
Suffolk Downs, which announced in September it would no longer offer live racing and would not apply for a 2015 racing license, is expected to reverse course and apply for dates within two to three weeks.
With time running out for Suffolk Downs to continue offering full-card simulcasts, the Massachusetts House of Representatives March 26 passed a bill that extends the current rights for one more month.
The New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association posted a statement on its website Mar. 24 discounting the likelihood of a 50-day meet operated by horsemen at Suffolk Downs in 2015.
The New Hampshire Senate narrowly passed a bill 13-11 late in the evening March 12 that would allow the development of two casinos in the state.
There will be a live race meet at Suffolk Downs in 2015 and 2016 now that track ownership and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have come to terms.
Negotiations that could lead to reopening of Suffolk Downs are continuing after track owners proposed the possibility of using money generated from the state's casino industry to help underwrite the cost of a meet.
Sam Elliott, most recently vice president of racing at Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts, is the new director of racing at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives Dec. 31 passed an amended bill that extended the simulcast rights of Suffolk Downs for 90 days to give track ownership and horsemen time to work on a plan to restore live racing.
Former jockey Andrea Terrill is suing Suffolk Downs near Boston, Mass., for injuries she sustained in a 2013 race.
Negotiations on a lease agreement between the management of Suffolk Downs and officials of the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association remain on track, contrary to a published report.
The New England affiliate of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association took one more important step toward the restoration of live racing at Suffolk Downs in 2015 by filing a supplemental application Nov. 24.
Suffolk Downs, which ended live racing for good earlier in the fall and laid off the majority of the track's remaining employees on Nov. 20 is now investigating ways to remain open as a simulcast-only facility in 2015.
While maintaining it is doing whatever is necessary to keep the door open for the return of Thoroughbred racing, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission voted unanimously to approve three "placeholder" 2015 dates applications.
The Massachusetts horsemen and breeders now live to fight another day after the referendum to repeal the bill authorizing three resort casinos and one slots parlor in the state was resoundingly rejected at the polls.
Lou Raffetto, former Suffolk Downs vice president of racing, is teaming with the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association in its efforts to structure a deal that would restore live racing at the track.
The New England horsemen who are attempting to lease the recently closed Suffolk Downs and bring back live racing next year will be represented by a new board of directors of their chapter of the HBPA.
There may be a reprieve for live racing at Suffolk Downs even though the track's ownership group announced that they would not apply for dates in 2015.
As live racing draws to a close at Suffolk Downs, track officials are extending the meet by one day so that the 79-year-old track where Hall of Famers Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, John Henry, Skip Away and Cigar once raced.
Tough decisions lie ahead for the horsemen and workers of the Boston-area track, which is expected to shut down permanently in December.
The Massachusetts Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry was dealt a devastating blow when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decided to award the sole Boston-area casino license to Wynn Resorts.
The Thoroughbred industry in Massachusetts will receive the lion's share of future expanded gaming revenue to be collected and allocated by the Race Horse Development Fund.
Horsemen and Suffolk Downs employees took advantage of their final opportunity to speak in support of a casino at the track during a Massachusetts Gaming Commission hearing Aug. 11.
The Horse Racing Committee of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decided Aug. 5 to stick with the allocation percentage it voted on at its previous meeting.
Jessica Paquette, senior director of communications at Suffolk Downs, wears many hats in her role at the track and now she can add race-calling to the long list.
Despite a 14.3% decrease in net revenue, Penn National Gaming Inc. July 24 reported net income of $2.8 million for the second quarter of this year versus a $12.2 million loss for the same three months of 2013.
In breaking his maiden July 13 in the second race at Monmouth Park, 2-year-old Conspiracy Again became the first reported winner for Massachusetts stallion Dr. Rockett.
Development plans are starting on the non-casino side of the racetrack property. Any improvements are still contingent on Suffolk Downs' casino partner, Mohegan Sun, being granted a gaming license.
The future of live Thoroughbred racing in New England became cloudier June 24 after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a referendum to repeal the state's casino law may appear on the November ballot.
Following the recent death of one horse stabled at Suffolk Downs from equine herpes myelitis, no horses are being allowed to leave the track, though no official quarantine has been imposed.
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