Sean Murphy of the Boston Globe reported that Suffolk Downs is asking for state approval to bring back thoroughbred horse racing to the East Boston track for the first time this year on July 11. If the proposal is approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Suffolk Downs would feature racing on only two other days in 2015: Aug. 8 and Sept. 5.
The commission is expected to consider the Suffolk Downs request at a hearing next month. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission would need to approve the use of $1.2 million collected from casinos to fund the cash prizes paid to a winning horse’s owner, trainer, and jockey. The request for purse money is being made in conjunction with a request for $225,000 to pay the annual expenses of the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents about 900 horse owners and trainers. The track owners also asked for $325,000 to fund the search for a new site for a track.
So why all this just for three races? Live racing would provide at least a trickle of revenue and allow the track to continue to simulcast horse racing with video feeds from other tracks. At this time, simulcasting is offered 3-5 days a week, includingeaturing harness racing and greyhound racing through the Wonderland Park feed.
Some of the horsemen’s organization disagree, saying the commission does not support thoroughbred horse racing. Last season, 65 races were ran. Only three this year. They may be right.
That’s all for now.