BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Suffolk Downs, New England’s last thoroughbred horse track, celebrated its storied past with a series of tributes Saturday on its final day of live races..
The once-grand Boston track recognized some of the most famous horses, jockeys, announcers and performers during its nearly 80-year history with live and video presentations.
Among those highlighted were “Eddie Wrack,” the horse that won the track’s inaugural race in 1935, and “Seabiscuit,” which won a major race there in 1937.
The track, which will continue to offer simulcast betting until December, also cleared out its promotional inventory, selling vintage souvenirs and other memorabilia. Sale proceeds will benefit CANTER New England and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, which help horses transition to life after racing.
“I’m a horse lover and we decided we need to come and be supportive on its last day,” one woman in attendance told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe.
Suffolk Downs officials decided to postpone the final day of racing from Sept. 29 to Saturday to give more people a chance to see the horses one last time.
“It’s very gratifying that so many people have come out,” said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk Downs’ chief operating officer. “We wanted to give the place a proper send-off.”
Saturday’s races are the last under the track’s current owners, Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC. The company, whose investors include prominent casino developer Richard Fields, has been losing money on the facility for years. State regulators recently rejected a planned Mohegan Sun resort casino that was expected to revive the track’s fortunes.
Still, a group of local horse owners and trainers are trying to keep live races going at Suffolk Downs and have filed an application for a 2015 state horse racing license. New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association says it is trying to work out a lease with Sterling Suffolk Racecourse.
WBZ NewsRadio1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports:
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