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Moving On

What’s next for some Suffolk Downs backstretch families? She said her father, who is an outrider at the track, has been going to Maryland for the winters over the last several years, and will likely have to go down there for nine months now and then go further into the south for the remaining three […]

Super Saturday Aftermath

Two weeks ago, the Breeders’ Cup Classic looked as though it would be a showdown between two 3-year-old Californians. Now it’s setting up as an East Coast vs. West Coast sophomore clash, after Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist exited a troubled Jockey Club Gold Cup with his second Grade 1 win and an improved, blinkers-off style, […]

Super Saturday 2014

Today’s group and graded stakes with potential Breeders’ Cup implications from Newmarket to Santa Anita, listed in order of approximate post time: Results, replays, and updates to come through the day.

Bleak State

How’s this for a depressing flashback? While looking for something else in the Railbird archive, I came across this April 2005 post about Suffolk Downs, “It’s Dying,” written during an especially pessimistic spring: … expanded gaming won’t solve New England’s long-term racing woes … Thoroughbred racing will leave New England. It’s inevitable. Yikes. There’s no […]

Sincere Interest

Sean Murphy reports on today’s Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting, where — caught between state law and desperate horsemen — the commissioners agreed to “finesse around the regulatory process,” as commissioner Bruce Stebbins put...Show More Summary

A Runyonesque Farewell

Bill Littlefield: Some citizens with so many potatoes it does not occur to them at any time to multiply them at Sufferin’ Downs say the race track is no place for a casino, and they are correct on this proposition, and also a blind pig sometimes finds an acorn. I always say ringing bells and […]

Last Saturday

It’s official, the last day of live racing at Suffolk Downs — “very likely … the final racing day of the 79-year-old track’s history” — will be Saturday, October 4, instead of Monday, September 29. Come, say goodbye. (You probably won’t get another chance, Shirley Leung.) It’s very likely, and probably, the last day ever, […]

Will Take Retirement

The older horse division takes another hit with the loss of Will Take Charge, retired to Three Chimneys after suffering a minor suspensory injury. Less than six weeks to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and last year’s winner, Mucho Macho Man, is out, along with Game on Dude and Palace Malice. (So, three of the top […]

Suffolk Notes

Penn National, George Carney, and as-yet-unidentified revenue streams. If you follow horse racing — if you follow Massachusetts racing — it sounds like the set-up to a bad joke, doesn’t it? But those are the options for continuing Thoroughbred racing in the state that the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will discuss at a meeting next Thursday. […]

No Bluff

When the Boston Globe endorsed the Wynn-Everett casino proposal the day before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission began its deliberations on the Boston-area license, the newspaper dismissed the likelihood that Suffolk Downs would close unless Mohegan Sun was the winner: According to the track, it will end racing if the casino does not open. But the […]

The Price to Pay

It’s over. The years-long pursuit of Suffolk Downs for expanded gaming — first, for casino legislation in Massachusetts, then for one of the three resort casino licenses authorized by the Commonwealth in 2011 — came to an end on Tuesday when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, by a vote of 3-1, awarded the Boston-area license to […]

Lights on Broadway, Texas Champion and OTTB Ambassador, Passes Away

It was a simple tweet: "RIP Lights on Broadway"Immediately, I was enveloped with sadness.It was back in 2008 when Lights on Broadway (Majestic Light), winner of $572,000 in 83 starts; 2001 Texas Horse of the Year and Champion Older Horse/Gelding, was purchased off a crowded slaughter truck for $300. Show More Summary

60 Years Ago: Public Perception Of Horse Racing Not So Good Then Either

Federal Men aka Treasury Men In Action was a TV series that ran in the Golden Age of television, from 1950-1955. Here is a horse racing related episode: "Case of the Losing Gamble" Original broadcast date: December 16, 1954. An investigation is launched into a person's taxes and horse racing. Show More Summary

Before the Hall of Fame

I remember Ashado mostly for her fourth-place finish, a dead heat with Island Sand, in the 2005 Personal Ensign at Saratoga. I met trainer Larry Jones that weekend, when he hired me to walk his filly. It was the first time I’d handled a $1 million earner, and Island Sand was ill-tempered and nippy. Her […]

More Media

John Pricci on the racing media: Without objective coverage, what passes for reportage these days often is rewritten press releases, that is when industry media bother to make the effort at all. Internet news disseminators have joined this bandwagon, learning to follow the money—their own—and tend not to trumpet any commentary that could be construed […]

Bayern Figures

The Travers is now a possibility for Bayern after the 3-year-old colt trained by Bob Baffert wired the Haskell, winning by 7 1/2 lengths (replay). He was given a Beyer speed figure of 109 for the effort, two points higher than his freaky Woody Stephens win on Belmont Stakes day, and the second-highest Beyer awarded […]

Dettori’s Spa Day

Frankie Dettori’s luggage didn’t make it to Saratoga on Friday, but he eventually did, getting to the track in time to leg up on Tiz Sardonic Joe in race seven after missing his first two rides on the card. In borrowed tack (his pants were lent by Rajiv Maragh, his crop by Julien Leparoux), Dettori […]

Media Matters

There are two newsstands in my neighborhood, and some time ago, I stopped at one to pick up a magazine with a cover story that was being chattered about online, but which was not online because its publisher is notoriously hostile to the web. A student from a local business school stopped me as I […]

Dettori’s Spa Day

Frankie Dettori’s luggage didn’t make it to Saratoga today, but he eventually did, getting to the track in time to leg up on Tiz Sardonic Joe in race seven after missing his first two rides on the card. In borrowed tack (his pants were lent by Rajiv Maragh, his crop by Julien Leparoux), Dettori rode […]

Summer Begins

Saratoga opens today! Hooray! Don’t forget your mortality as you’re joining Tom Durkin in his final opening race call, “And they’re off at the Spaaaaa!” Because, “The Spa may be timeless, but we aren’t.” (I kid, Joe. That’s so true.) Today’s Schuylerville Stakes drew five 2-year-old fillies, which has Bill Finley pondering how to fix […]

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