Massachusetts horsemen achieved a major victory when lawmakers reached compromise on the $40 billion 2018 budget bill that eliminates $400 million in spending yet leaves intact a significant portion of the money in the Race Horse Development Fund.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association submitted an application Oct. 1 to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to conduct a live meet at Suffolk Downs next year.
An agreement between the New England Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association and the management of Suffolk Downs on a conditional deal for the 2014 meet was reached Feb. 22, but terms must still be decided.
Horsemen at Suffolk Downs are hosting a golf tournament Aug. 15 to benefit retired Thoroughbred racehorses.
After six weeks of intense negotiations on a new contract, the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Suffolk Downs finally sealed a two-year agreement late in the day March 4.
The NEHBPA and Suffolk Downs have reached an agreement in principal for a 2011 contract and the deal is expected to be sealed March 2, according to the general counsel for the horsemen.
The general counsel for the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said the afternoon of Feb. 28 negotiations have reached the "sink or swim" point on a contract resolution for 2011.
The New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Suffolk Downs have still not struck a deal on a 2011 contract.
Negotiations over a contract for 2011 between the New England Horsemen's and Benevolent Protective Association and Suffolk Downs are continuing, and the attorney for the horsemen said Feb. 22 there may be significant movement
Suffolk Downs has threatened to shut down in March if the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and other chapters across the country do not restore simulcast signals by Feb. 26, according to a source.
Executives with the Boston area track met with horsemen representatives Feb. 17. No proposals on the table some "some progress" is made.
Suffolk Downs has reduced its simulcasting operation in the wake of the ongoing dispute with the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association over a contract for the 2011 live racing season.
The battle between Suffolk Downs and the New England HBPA over a 2011 contract took a turn for the worse Feb. 10 when the racetrack threatened legal action against the horsemen and demanded they remove their office trailers.
While the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association board of directors held a closed door meeting the night of Feb. 8, others were feeling the fallout from the ongoing and bitter dispute with Suffolk Downs.
The New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association says its decision to block simulcasts of the New York Racing Association to Suffolk Downs is due primarily to a dispute over revenues.
- By Pete Spanos
Led by a united New England Horsemen's Benevolent Protective Association, and with the support of workers and officials at Suffolk Downs, the Massachusetts horse racing industry cancelled the live Sept. 28 card at the East Boston racetrack.
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