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.
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.
Kentucky Downs has named Ted Nicholson as vice president of the Franklin, Ky., track. Nicholson had been consulting with Kentucky Downs on its 2015 racing season prior to being named to this permanent position.
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.
Suffolk Downs has created a new stakes race, the $75,000 Suffolk Downs Distaff Turf, for the next festival day Oct. 3.
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.
Jockey Jill Jellison, who rode nearly 2,000 winners during her career, died of breast cancer July 28 in a Rhode Island Hospital. She was 51.
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.
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.
A deal that would allow horsemen to lease Suffolk Downs and operate a live race meet in 2015 and 2016 appears to be close at hand, representatives said at a hearing of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission Feb. 19.
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.
Suffolk Downs, slated for closure Dec. 31, will be allowed to remain open for simulcasting only under the terms of a bill that cleared the Massachusetts Senate on Dec. 29.
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.
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 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.
Carl Gambardella, the all-time leading rider in New England, hadn't been back to Suffolk Downs in four years but wanted to be on hand for the last day of the meet, as it is slated to be the 79-year-old track's last.
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.
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 at Suffolk Downs winds down for the season, and likely forever, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is seeking options for the continuation of Thoroughbred racing in the state.
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.
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 owners of the Brockton Fairgrounds have stepped up to offer the Thoroughbred horsemen of Massachusetts a home after Suffolk Downs came up short in its casino quest and will soon be closed.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission said Sept. 18 it will offer help for soon to be unemployed Suffolk Downs workers and racing industry stakeholders, but the words rang hollow for the track's chief operating officer.
Tough decisions lie ahead for the horsemen and workers of the Boston-area track, which is expected to shut down permanently in December.
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