By Katie Brace, WBZ-TVBy Katie Brace

BOSTON (CBS) — On this special day at Suffolk Downs, it was about more than just picking a winning horse as they returned to the track this weekend.

“I had to be here. Absolutely,” says Jeanne Lazzarino.

Lazzarino grew up at the track.

“My uncle came here. My dad came here. (It was) just a good family day,” she said.

After 80 years, Suffolk Downs shuttered last fall.

Management said they were losing too much money and the casino license they needed to save the business went to Everett.

Jockey Janelle Campbell started here. She and nearly all of her competition are from the area.

“It’s hard on everybody,” Campbell said.

At the request of the racing community, Chip Tuttle decided to re-open for three days this fall.

“This is a good way to transition it keeps people working it gives the horsemen an opportunity and it keeps things as we figure out what’s happening next,” he said.

Thirteen races were run, food trucks were added, and more than 10,000 people packed the stands.

“The crowd is an adrenaline rush you don’t see it very much anywhere,” he said.

Katie Brace

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