Tough decisions lie ahead for the horsemen and workers of the Boston-area track, which is expected to shut down permanently in December.
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.
Voters in Revere, Mass., overwhelmingly backed Suffolk Downs and gaming partner Mohegan Sun in their plan to develop a world-class destination resort casino on the grounds of the 79-year-old track.
Suffolk Downs said Jan. 9 it is committed to live racing should its new partner, Mohegan Sun, win the license to build a casino on track property.
Suffolk Downs remained in the running for a casino license with the Nov. 27 announcement it has reached an agreement with Mohegan Sun, which operates gaming facilities in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Suffolk Downs Oct. 24 released details of a $40 million "racing improvement plan" tied to its bid for a destination casino license. Officials held a press conference at Indian Rock Stables, a Thoroughbred breeding farm.
The Boston-area racetrack has officially applied to open a resort casino in partnership with Caesars Entertainment.
Suffolk Downs June 5 announced details about its plans to develop a Caesars-branded resort and casino at the Massachusetts racetrack.
Suffolk Downs has entered into what it terms a "strategic alliance" with Caesars Entertainment to bolster its chances of developing a destination resort casino should Massachusetts approved expanded gambling.
Suffolk Downs, celebrating its 75th season this year, has a vision for the future, and it's tied to expansion of gambling.
Hall of Fame jockeys Chris McCarron and Jerry Bailey are among the racing personalities that will help Suffolk Downs celebrate its 75th anniversary July 10.
Suffolk Downs will not conduct the Massachusetts Handicap in 2009 due to current economic conditions, track officials announced June 19.
Why should this year's incarnation of the MassCap be any different than the other 65 events contested beneath the deafening roar of overhead planes from nearby Logan Airport?
Suffolk Downs has announced that the purse for this year's Massachusetts Handicap will be $5 million if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown and both he and 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Curlin remain unbeaten in 2008 and go on to start in the MassCap against one another. The $5 million would include a $1-million participation bonus for each.
Suffolk Downs officials are hoping 2007 was a year the racetrack and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred industry turned yet another corner toward a brighter, stable future.
Suffolk Downs, which recently underwent a change in ownership, announced Aug. 15 that Bill Mulrow is the new chairman of the board of directors, and Chip Tuttle and John Rizzo have been named chief operating officer and chief financial officer, respectively.
- By Claire Novak
The storied Massachusetts Handicap, last run in 2004, will be renewed at Suffolk Downs Sept. 22, five weeks prior to the running of the Oct. 26-27 Breeders' Cup World Championships.
- By Tom Precious
Empire Racing Associates has accused two of its competitors of secretly meeting to discuss a possible joint venture involving New York's Thoroughbred franchise, which Empire contends violates state procurement rules involving collusion.
A company headed by Richard Fields, who co-developed the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel projects in Florida, has purchased a majority interest in the company that owns Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts.
Retired Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey has joined Excelsior Racing Associates in their bid to take over the New York Racing franchise.
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