The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has approved a request from the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Sterling Suffolk Racecourse for a fourth and final racing weekend to be held September 15-16 at Suffolk Downs.
NEHBPA President Anthony Spadea, Jr. told Bloodhorse that horsemen were excited for the opportunity to race and to showcase Massachusetts-breds. “The extension of the meet also provides additional income to so many hard-working and deserving people who make their living in our industry,” said Anthony.
Bloodhorse reported that the gaming commissioners also approved the request of the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association (MTBA) to continue to run races restricted to Massachusetts-breds at Fingers Lakes Gaming and Racetrack in Farmington, New York. Since live racing has been sharply curtailed at the Suffolk Downs property, which was sold to a major real estate developer in 2017, the MGC has allowed state-bred horses to earn purses and state-bred incentives at Finger Lakes. Bonus awards to owners, breeders and stallion owners continue to be paid to MA bred horses finishing in the top three positions anywhere in the USA.
We have heard from Representative Joseph F. Wagner, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, who said he expects the Legislature to quickly take up consideration of legislation dealing with sports betting and other racing-related legislation in early September. The NEHBPA believes that sports betting will help stimulate investor interest in developing a new racing facility in Massachusetts and lead to full-time racing. The NEHBPA has been in conversations with potential developers on a facility that would accommodate FULL time racing Unfortunately we are bound by confidentially statements and can only provide limited information at this time.