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.
Suffolk Downs, which in recent years has opened its live meet in mid-May, will instead begin the 2012 season June 2 even though a purse contract with the New England HBPA has yet to be finalized.
John Kirby, an owner, breeder, and trainer in New England for nearly 50 years, died Dec. 29 at the age of 85.
In a move needed to get the final version of an expanded gambling bill to the desk of the governor before its winter break, the Massachusetts legislature approved a bill that cuts revenue to horse racing.
The Massachusetts legislature Nov. 16 passed a bill authorizing casinos in the state, and Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to sign it.
Suffolk Downs will offer its richest stakes since 2008 on Oct. 22 amid a sense of optimism brought about by passage of legislation that gives it a chance to be awarded a license for a resort casino.
Massachusetts is on the fast track to expand gambling after the State Senate passed a bill Oct. 13 authorizing three destination resort casinos and one slots facility.
An amendment to eliminate a slot-machine facility that would dedicate 9% of gross revenue to the horse racing industry in Massachusetts as part of expanded gambling legislation was killed in the Senate Oct. 6.
On the heels of a new poll that revealed 56% of Massachusetts residents favor the expansion of gambling, state senators on Sept. 26 opened debate on a bill that has already passed the House by an overwhelming margin.
The top Republican lawmaker in the Massachusetts Senate is hoping revenue from expanded gambling will be used to lower taxes.
The fall schedule at Suffolk Downs will include higher purses, two additional four-day race weeks, and the running of the $100,000 Robert M. O'Malley Sprint Stakes.
The State of Massachusetts took a major step toward expanding gambling on the night of Sept. 14 after the House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize three destination resort casinos and one slot machine facility.
A bill allowing for three resort casinos and a slots-only facility has widespread support in the legislature. Suffolk Downs is seen as the front runner for one of the gaming licenses.
Suffolk Downs in East Boston, Mass., to resume live racing after being closed Aug. 29-30 due to the weekend's tropical depression.
Although Tropical Storm Irene has left the area, several East Coast tracks are still impacted by the storm that began as a hurricane and was later downgraded before rolling through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
The horse racing industry in Massachusetts would get a much-needed shot in the arm according to the terms of a new expanded gambling bill filed by legislators Aug. 23.
Jockey Tammi Piermarini became the fifth female rider in Thoroughbred racing history to reach the 2,000 win mark when she won the third race at Suffolk Downs Aug. 22 aboard Sugar Trade.
Veteran jockey Jorge Vargas recorded his 3,000th career victory Aug. 8 at Suffolk Downs when his mount Want Ad was elevated via disqualification to win the fourth race of the afternoon.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed into law the bill passed by both houses of the legislature to extend simulcasting in the state.
Suffolk Downs, which had been racing only three days per week during the current meet, will now card live racing four days per week. The schedule change is a result of passage of a bill in the Massachusetts legislature.
Massachusetts House approves bill to reduce racing days and extend simulcasting.
Massachusetts legislation allows simulcasting to continue.
The expansion of gambling is back on the front burner in Massachusetts as key legislators and the governor work to settle their differences and draft a compromise bill that could be passed as early as July.
After an insufficient number of entries forced the cancellation of live racing on May 25, Suffolk Downs was able to card eight races for Saturday, May 28 and live racing is back on schedule.
Citing an insufficient number of entries, Suffolk Downs has canceled the Wednesday, May 25 live racing card. The day will be restored at a date to be determined later in the meet.
Putting aside disagreements between management and horseman, Suffolk Downs lifted the curtain on its 2011 racing season May 21.
The 2011 live racing season at Suffolk Downs, featuring increased purses from a year ago, will begin Saturday, May 21. The meet runs through Nov. 5.
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.
Discussions about expanding gambling in Massachusetts have been moved off the fast track as the governor and legislators now will make closing the state's $1-billion budget deficit their top priority.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Suffolk Downs and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association continued to negotiate Feb. 18 and indications are that the two sides are creeping closer to common ground on a contract for 2011.
Executives with the Boston area track met with horsemen representatives Feb. 17. No proposals on the table some "some progress" is made.
The management of Suffolk Downs and the New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association are headed back to the bargaining table to seek resolution on a new contract for 2011.
Suffolk Downs announced its intention to conduct a live race meet in 2011, but wants simulcasting signals restored in a dispute with New England horsemen's group
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.
The New England Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association was prepared to offer a counterproposal to the management of Suffolk Downs Feb. 9 in an attempt to get back to the bargaining table and end their dispute.
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 horsemen in Oregon have joined the list of groups supporting the New England chapter of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association as dispute over a 2011 live racing contract at Suffolk Downs continues.
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.
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