Wicked Freud, a seven-year-old gelding who hails from the barn of Jason Servis, the trainer of Maximum Security, the first-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby that was disqualified and placed 17th, is slated to run in Saturday's feature, a $55,000 allowance/optional claiming race at about 7 ½ furlongs on the turf with a field of nine as live racing resumes Saturday at Suffolk Downs in conjunction with the simulcast of the Preakness Stakes.
More than 100 horses have been entered for the Saturday's 11-race card with more than $500,000 in purses and incentives on the line as the track kicks off the first of three scheduled live racing and food truck festival weekends for its final live racing season.
The entries include familiar local horsemen and jockeys including Jay Bernardini, Karl Grusmark and Tammi Piermarini, the third all-time leading woman rider in history. In addition to the featured race, there are five other races carded on the turf for Saturday.
Over the course of the weekend, there will be four stakes races restricted to horses foaled in Massachusetts – the $50,000 Rise Jim Stakes and the $50,000 Isadorable Stakes on Saturday along with the $50,000 African Prince Stakes and $50,000 George F. Brown Memorial Dirt Mile Stakes on Sunday. The popular Massachusetts-bred Dr. Blarney will be trying to win the Rise Jim Stakes for the third consecutive year for owner and breeder Joseph DiRico.
“Once again we look forward to welcoming back racing fans and to providing an opportunity for local owners, trainers and Massachusetts breeders to run here for purses and incentives enhanced by the state's Race Horse Development Fund,” said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk Downs' chief operating officer. “We appreciate the assistance and cooperation of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and its staff in staging these festival weekends. And, we look at this final season of live racing here as a celebration as we continue to work with the New England HBPA and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association on our plan to restore and refurbish the Great Barrington Fair Grounds in order to preserve live racing and its related economic and agricultural benefits in the state.”
Prior to resuming live racing, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) Safety & Integrity Alliance extended Suffolk Downs' accreditation. The track has continuously maintained its status since receiving its initial Alliance accreditation in 2011. Alliance certification standards address an extensive list of safety and integrity concerns within six broad areas: injury reporting and prevention; creating a safer racing environment; uniform medication and testing; jockey health and welfare; aftercare and transition of retired racehorses; and wagering security.
Post time for the 11 race card is at 12:55 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 numerous local vendors, craft beer, live music and family fun activities.
Live racing will continue on Sunday with eleven races and the track will again offer approximately $500,000 in purses and awards.
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