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.
Expanded gambling became legal in Massachusetts Nov. 22, when Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill to authorize three destination resort casinos and one slots facility that will be competitively bid.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Putting aside disagreements between management and horseman, Suffolk Downs lifted the curtain on its 2011 racing season May 21.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Suffolk Downs has been given approval to simulcast dog racing by the Massachusetts State Racing Commission, which recently issued a decision to allow the shuttered Wonderland Greyhound Park to transfer its license.
Suffolk Downs, celebrating its 75th season this year, has a vision for the future, and it's tied to expansion of gambling.
Safe in the U S A, an 11-year-old son of Gone West out of champion sprinter Safely Kept (by Horatius), has been relocated to New England Stallion Station near Fitchburg, Mass.
The Massachusetts superior court overturned a decision by the state's racing commission to suspend trainer Sherryl Meade's license based upon a post race urine containing cocaine.
James Bishop, long-time track handicapper and publicist at Suffolk Downs, died May 24 from cancer at his home in Revere, Mass.
A new incentive has been set up to reward breeders who send their mares to Massachusetts stallion River Keen in 2009.
Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo said Feb. 2 House lawmakers could vote on legislation to expand gambling before the end of the year -- the surest signal yet that casinos or slot machines may be coming to the state.
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.
Massachusetts voters reversed course Nov. 4 and approved a ban on Greyhound racing in the state eight years after they narrowly defeated a similar ballot question.
TVG will air exclusive live, on-site coverage of various Breeders' Cup World Championships prep races, including the $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap Sept. 20. The race at Suffolk Downs is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" event.
Suffolk Downs and Wonderland Greyhound Park have reached a partnership agreement allowing Suffolk to buy the dog track, and maybe help the owners land a casino gambling franchise.
Joseph "Joe" Fatalo, vice president of operations at Suffolk Downs and a long-time employee of the track, died June 15.
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 will move to a four-day week with live racing on a Wednesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule beginning June 4.
Suffolk Downs will conduct Friday twilight racing in the months of June, July, and August, the track announced as it introduced its complete racing schedule and several other initiatives for the 2008 live racing season, which begins May 3.
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