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Suffolk Downs

Starting Gate at Suffolk Downs. East Boston, Massachusetts, 2004

Suffolk Downs, a thoroughbred race track in East Boston, Massachusetts, United States opened in 1935. Famous horses that have raced at this track include Seabiscuit, Whirlaway and Cigar. The MassCap is held there, as well at the annual Hot Dog Safari.



The track was founded in 1935 after pari-mutuel wagering was legalized in Massachusetts. The first MassCap was held that year. The track raced through World War II. On 18 August 1966, The Beatles played a concert before approximately 24,000 music fans in the infield of Suffolk Downs. Between 1990 and 1991 there was no racing at Suffolk. In 1992, this was resolved when a deal was brokered between Suffolk Downs and Rockingham Park. In 1995 the Massachusetts Handicap returned from a six-year hiatus with a victory by Cigar. The track is conveniently accessed by public transportation via the Suffolk Downs MBTA subway station on the Blue Line. In 2007, the track had an influx of new ownership, vowing to improve the success and future of Suffolk Downs.

In 2008, Suffolk Downs became the first race track in the country to implement a zero-tolerance policy toward those who slaughter horses. The policy states that if a horse from Suffolk Downs is sold for slaughter, the trainer and owner of that horse will be barred from the grounds for life.

Physical attributes

The track is a one-mile dirt oval. There is also a seven-furlong inner turf oval.


The track is the host to numerous overnight handicaps and minor stakes. The flagship event is the Grade III Massachusetts Handicap.


  • Eastern Racing Association: 1935-June 20, 1968
  • Realty Equities, Inc.: June 20, 1968-February 17, 1971
  • Ogden Suffolk Downs, Inc. February 17, 1971-June 26, 1986
  • Belle Isle Limited Partnership (Led by Buddy LeRoux and Al Curran): June 26, 1986-September 1, 1996
    • leased to Sterling Suffolk Race Course Inc. (Led by James B. Moseley and John L. Hall) April 6, 1991-September 1, 1996
  • Sterling Suffolk Race Course Inc. (Led by James B. Moseley, John L. Hall, and Joseph O'Donnell) September 1, 1996-April 3, 2007
  • Coastal Development Massachusetts, LLC: April 3, 2007–Present


  • Bayard Tuckerman, Jr.: 1935
  • Charles F. Adams: 1935-December 16, 1937
  • James H. Connors: December 16, 1937–1939
  • Charles F. Adams: 1939-February 20, 1944
  • Gordon B. Hanlon: February 20, 1944–1945
  • Allan J. Wilson: 1945-1946
  • John C. Pappas: 1946-1965
  • David Haber: 1965-June 20, 1968
  • Bill Veeck: June 20, 1968-February 17, 1971
  • Joseph E. Cresci: 1971-1974
  • William F. Connell: 1974-1985
  • John MacAniff: 1985-June 26, 1986
  • Al Curran: June 26, 1986-April 6, 1991
  • John L. Hall: April 6, 1991-April 3, 2007
  • Richard T. Fields: April 3, 2007–Present


External links

Coordinates: Template:Coord/input/dec


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