Live Racing Returns to Suffolk Downs with 13 Races

Three $50,000 Mass-bred stakes highlight a 13-race card as live racing returns to Suffolk Downs this Saturday, September 5th. Longtime Suffolk Downs-based trainers Jay Bernardini, Brenda McCarthy and Bobby Raymond and prominent national outfits including Christophe Clement, Steve Assmussen, Gary Contessa and Jonathan Sheppard have entered Saturday’s races.

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 offer a purse of $50,000 and will showcase the Massachusetts Thoroughbred breeding industry. New England champion Victor Laszlo, a homebred for Mrs. Patricia Moseley, headlines the field for the Rise Jim Stakes.

In addition to the three Mass-bred stakes, Saturday’s card will include one steeplechase race and five turf races. One of the highlights of the card is a $50,000 allowance race carded at 7 ½ furlongs on the turf and that race has drawn a competitive field of nine. The featured race is a $55,000 allowance race scheduled to be run at 6 furlongs on the main track and will feature a field of six. In addition to a pair of allowance races, there will also be a mile and a half turf race for horses who have competed over hurdles in the past and will serve as a prep race for a future steeplechase.

“We are looking forward to the return of live racing at Suffolk Downs and the continuation of an 80-year tradition,” said Chip Tuttle, the Chief Operating Officer at Suffolk Downs. “I want to thank the horsemen for their continued support of the program and want to congratulate Lou Raffeto and Racing Secretary Tom Creel for putting together an exciting opening card.”

There will be many familiar local faces taking part in the opening card including jockey David Amiss, the leading rider in 2014 and longtime Suffolk Downs stalwart Tammi Piermarini, the third most winning female jockey in history, who will be returning to the East Boston oval with mounts for graded stakes winning trainers Christophe Clement, David Jacobson and Marcus Vitali.

“I’m excited to be back in Boston,” said Tammi Piermarini, in between working horses at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania where she is now based. “It will be great to see our friends and family and the fans that always supported me. Hopefully, some day in the future we will have a full-time meet again.”

“It will be great to be home and see a lot of faces I haven’t seen in over a year now,” said Jay Bernardini, a Lynn resident who took home the leading trainer title in 2014. “With a lot of apprehension, we ran the last race last year and didn’t know if we would be back again. It is a little bit bittersweet that it is only one day, but it is still going to be great to be back in a place that will always be home.”

Post time for the 13 race card is at 12:30 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.  Admission and parking are free.

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About Suffolk Downs:

Built by 3,000 workers in just 62 days when Massachusetts authorized pari-mutuel wagering in 1935, the historic track has been a showcase for some of the most famous names in Thoroughbred racing history, including Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, John Henry, Cigar and Skip Away.

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