The $75,000 Jill Jellison Memorial Stakes will highlight an 11-race card as live racing returns to Suffolk Downs this Saturday, July 9th. Longtime Suffolk Downs-based trainers Jay Bernardini, William Sienkewicz and Bobby Raymond and prominent national outfits including Christophe Clement, Bill Mott, Steve Asmussen, Wesley Ward and Jonathan Sheppard have entered Saturday's races.
The $75,000 Jill Jellison Memorial Stakes is a five furlong turf race restricted to fillies and mares and named in honor of Jill Jellison, a pioneer member of the local jockey colony who passed away after a battle with cancer last year. The black-type race has drawn a field of ten.
In addition to the Jill Jellison Memorial Stake Mass-bred stakes, Saturday's card will include two steeplechase race and four turf races. Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who saddled Cigar to victory in the 1995 and 1996 Massachusetts Handicap, has entered three horses including Street Strut in the fifth race. The first-time starter is a homebred for celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
“We are looking forward to the return of live racing at Suffolk Downs and welcoming back the horses, horsemen and women and of course, the local racing fans,” said Chip Tuttle, the Chief Operating Officer at Suffolk Downs. “I want to thank the efforts of our Racing Department along with the horsemen and women, to put together an exciting weekend of live racing.”
Over the course of the weekend, there will be three stakes races restricted to horses foaled in Massachusetts – the African Prince Stakes, the Rise Jim Stakes and the Isadorable Stakes. Each offers a purse of $75,000 and is a showcase for the Massachusetts Thoroughbred breeding industry. Sunday's Rise Jim Stakes will feature the last three winners of the race, Worth the Worry (2015), Victor Laszlo (2014) and Silk Spinner (2013).
There will be many familiar local faces taking part in the opening card including jockey David Amiss, the leading rider at Suffok Downs in 2014. In addition, Tammi Piermarini, the third most winning female jockey in history, will be returning to the East Boston oval after recently moving her tack to Finger Lakes.
As it did for the live racing last year, the track will again reduce the takeout to 15% on all wagers The takeout rate, the percentage of wagering dollars retained by the pari-mutuel association, has been lowered from 26% on all multiple bets, including exacta, trifecta, the 50 cents Pick 3 and Pick 4, the ten cents superfecta and $1 daily double. The reduction is from 19% on straight win, place, and show bets.
Post time for the 11 race card is at 12:35 p.m. and gates open at 11:00 a.m. In addition to live racing, the track will be hosting a food truck festival featuring food trucks from over a dozen vendors, craft beer, live music and family fun activities for the whole family.
Live racing will continue on Sunday with the $75,000 Rise Jim Stakes and the $75,000 Isadorable Stakes.
For more information, visit www.suffolkdowns.com
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