Return of Racing to Suffolk Downs Looks Like It Will Be a Big Party

A three day festival around horse racing.

Horses racing at Suffolk Downs / Photo By bradfordst219 On Flickr Creative Commons

Horses racing at Suffolk Downs / Photo By bradfordst219 On Flickr Creative Commons

The return of horse racing to Suffolk Downs is looking more and more like it will be a big fun party instead of a collection of cranky old dudes with oxygen tanks yelling over scraps of paper.

When this was first being thought up it was billed not just as race with quality horses and big purses but as an event that will attract casual and non-racing fans.

Organizers at Suffolk Downs said in a release on Tuesday that the three days of racing on September 5, October 3, and October 31 will feature over a dozen food trucks, craft beers, and live music in addition to live horse racing.

“We are very excited for the return of the 80-year tradition of live racing here, for the opportunity to keep people working as we transition to the development of the property and to provide a venue for the NEHBPA and the Mass breeders for this year and next,” said Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle in a release.

Earlier this year, Suffolk Downs won approval from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to host three days of live racing at the track through an agreement with the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

The agreement allows the track to operate for three days with larger than normal purses in order to attract better horses and make it worthwhile for the horse racing industry. The purses are expected to be over $500,000 for each day of racing, a huge increase from when the track offered just $100,000 in purse money on a good day.

The purses will be funded with $1.2 million in monies from the state’s horse racing fund.

“These will be three days of celebration, the last of which will coincide with the Breeders’ Cup on October 31st,” said Lou Raffetto, a consultant for the New England HBPA

The event will also mark the return of steeplechasing racing to Suffolk Downs for the first time since 1997.

We really see it as one big party during three great days,” said Raffetto.

Some of the food trucks already committed to the events are Bonetown Burgers, Yumm Bai, Trolley Dogs, and Mommogoose.