Thoroughbred racing will return to Suffolk Downs for three two-day racing festivals, officials at the Massachusetts track said May 5. The mini-meets will be held in July, August, and September.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unionized employees of Suffolk Downs have sued the Massachusetts Gaming Commission contending it violated the law when it selected Wynn Resorts for a casino license instead of the track's gaming partner, Mohegan Sun.
A request by Suffolk Downs that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reconsider its decision to award its Boston area casino license to Wynn Resorts didn't get out of the starting gate at a public hearing Oct. 9.
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.
A Suffolk Downs executive told horsemen Sept. 20 the track would listen to any viable plans formulated by the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association to continue racing.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said no dice to the state's Thoroughbred racing and breeding industry when it cast a preliminary 3-1 vote Sept. 16 in favor of awarding the sole Boston area casino license to Wynn Resorts.
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.
Just days after asking its casino partner to resign in the wake of an investigation by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Suffolk Downs said it will unveil a $40 million "racing improvement plan" at a local horse farm.
Horse racing will receive a share of gaming revenue from the casinos that will be built in Massachusetts, but during an Oct. 16 forum on the industry, stakeholders asked a question: What good is the money without racetracks?
The 2013 live racing season at Suffolk Downs will begin Saturday, June 1 and continue through Nov. 2, the track announced May 21 as it introduced its initial racing schedule and other plans for the upcoming season.
Suffolk Downs will open for its 2012 live racing season June 2 and the horsemen and track management are expressing a new sense of optimism since the legalization of expanded gambling in Massachusetts last fall.
After months of wrangling over minor details in the contract for the 2012 live meet that begins June 2, Suffolk Downs and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association have reached an agreement.
Putting aside disagreements between management and horseman, Suffolk Downs lifted the curtain on its 2011 racing season May 21.
Suffolk Downs, which negotiated a new contract with the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association calling for fewer live racing days in 2011, is now seeking the legislative relief to make that possible.
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 rejected the latest proposal from Suffolk Downs on the night of Feb. 24.
There is a Feb. 25 deadline looming in the 2011 contract dispute between Suffolk Downs and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
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.
The board of directors of the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association met on the night of Feb. 20 to consider the latest counterproposal of Suffolk Downs, but a consensus was not reached.
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.
While the management of Suffolk Downs and horsemen remain locked in a bitter stalemate over a new contract for live racing in 2011, Florida horsemen and the Ohio HBPA have pulled their signals in support.
While the New England HBPA and Suffolk Downs remain at a bitter impasse over a contract for live racing in 2011, the attorney for the horsemen said Feb. 1 he is looking into options to race elsewhere.
Three of the five trainers that were banned from Suffolk Downs last fall for violating its zero tolerance policy toward horse slaughter have been reinstated and will be allowed to saddle horses for the East Boston, Mass. track's 2009 season, which runs May 2-Nov. 7.
Holding fast to its zero-tolerance policy toward horse slaughter, Suffolk Downs decided to ban five trainers who were involved--though all claim unknowingly--in an incident that violated the new code, which was instituted during the track's 2007 meet.
- By Pete Spanos
At a March 20 statehouse rally in Boston, hundreds of local horsemen, track employees, city mayors, and labor leaders pressed lawmakers for action on a proposal that would add 2,000 slot machines at each of the state's four pari-mutuel facilities.
The Massachusetts horse racing industry is taking a day off Sept. 28 to show its support during a hearing in the state House of Representatives on legislation that could impact the industry.
Horsemen held a brainstorming meeting Aug. 16 to discuss the ramifications of a plan by Rockingham Park to offer Thoroughbred races Sept. 5 in partnership with the New Hampshire Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing Association.
- By Tom LaMarra
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, in an attempt to solidify revenue derived from pari-mutuel wagering, will soon release a comprehensive position paper that touches on everything from source-market fees to rebates.
Following nearly two days of testimony in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire in Concord, but before it came to a judge's ruling, Rockingham Park, the New England Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association, and Suffolk Downs reached agreement Tuesday relative to the disbursement of simulcasting revenue.
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