Live racing will return to Suffolk Downs for the final time in the track's 84 year history this Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, as the track hosts the final live racing and food truck festival weekend which will feature twelve races each day and over $1 million in purses and incentives.
More than 130 horses have been entered for Saturday's card with an average field size of 11 per race. The entries include familiar local names such as former leading trainer Jay Bernardini, decorated jockey Tammi Piermarini as well as some prominent national outfits including Christophe Clement and Joe Sharp.
“We are looking forward to celebrating our 84-year legacy on the final weekend of live racing here and we are also looking forward to what's next as we continue to pursue our plan to refurbish the Great Barrington Fair Grounds while we continue simulcast operations here,” said Chip Tuttle, the Chief Operating Officer at Suffolk Downs. “We appreciate the loyalty and dedication of all of our employees, the New England horsemen and horse women who have supported our racing program for the last several years, and the hard work and cooperation of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and its Racing Division.”
The featured race of the weekend will be the $100,000 James B. Moseley Stakes which is a black-type race for fillies and mares and will be run at about five furlongs on the turf. The race has drawn a field of eight fillies and mares. The race is named in the honor of the late James B. Moseley, an integral part of the history of the racetrack who, alongside John Hall, II, reopened and revitalized the track in 1991.
In addition to the featured race, there will be six other races carded on the turf.
Over the course of the weekend, there will be four stakes races restricted to horses foaled in Massachusetts – the $50,000 Massachusetts Stallion Stakes and the $50,000 Ask Queenie Dirt Mile on Saturday along with the $50,000 John Kirby Stakes and $50,000 Thomas F. Moran Stakes on Sunday. On Sunday, the undefeated Successful Saint puts his three-race streak on the line in the $50,000 John Kirby Stakes.
The Ask Queenie Stakes, which will be run for the inaugural time, is named in honor of Ask Queenie, one of the most popular and successful Massachusetts-bred horses in history. Bred by longtime local breeder Lloyd Lockart, the chestnut mare was trained by his daughter Lori Lockhart and owned by his granddaughter, Laurine Barreira. Ask Queenie retired in 2010 with 27 wins from 63 starts and over $780,000 in career earnings and 20 wins against stakes competition. Since her retirement, she has been a broodmare in Florida.
On Sunday, the track will be selling commemorative Suffolk Downs t-shirts with the proceeds to go towards Thoroughbred aftercare.
Following this weekend, the track will remain open year-round for simulcasting. Sterling Suffolk Racecourse (SSR), the company that operates racing and simulcasting at Suffolk Downs, is currently working alongside the New England HPBA and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association (MTBA) on plans to refurbish and return live racing to the Great Barrington Fairgrounds in Great Barrington, MA and to continue simulcasting operations in Boston.
Post time for the twelve race card on both Saturday and Sunday is 12:55 p.m.
For more information, visit www.suffolkdowns.com
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