Page 16 THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – Friday, April 5, 2019 Suffolk Downs to conduct final season of live racing R ecently Suffolk Downs announced that it will run six live dates in 2019 – after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) approved the track’s schedule and its corresponding request for purse funding of $3.8 million for those dates from the state’s Racehorse Development Fund. The three festival weekends are scheduled for May 1819, June 8-9 and June 29-30 and will be the last days of thoroughbred racing held at the historic East Boston facility. In 2017, Sterling Suffolk Racecourse (SSR), the company that operates racing and simulcasting at Suffolk Downs, sold the property in East Boston and Revere to The HYM Investment Group, a Boston-based real estate developer. In conjunction with the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NEHBPA) and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association (MTBA), SSR announced plans last year to refurbish and return live racing to the Great Barrington Fairgrounds in Great Barrington, Mass., and to continue simulcasting operations in Boston. The track operator has renewed its option on the 55acre Great Barrington property and is pursuing legislation in the current session in Massachusetts that would facilitate its proposal. At Suffolk Downs, the $100,000 James B. Moseley Stakes at five furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares will highlight the racing program of June 29. The average daily purse distribution for each festival weekend, including participation incentives to encourage horsemen to ship in from other circuits, will be in excess of $600,000 per day. “We are looking forward to celebrating the rich tradition of Suffolk Downs with racing fans for one final season here as we pursue the plan to preserve thoroughbred racing and its associated agribusiness and economic benefits in the Commonwealth by restoring the racing facility at Great Barrington,” said SSR Chief Operating Officer Chip Tuttle. “We appreciate the support of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in granting our dates and purse funding requests.” “We appreciate Sterling Suffolk’s addition of and the MGC’s approval of extra days and purse funding for this season and Sterling Suffolk’s dedication to preserving live thoroughbred racing in the Commonwealth and the livelihoods of our members, the small businesses and family farms that depend on it,” said NEHBPA President Anthony Spadea. In order to help offset shipping and travel costs for the festival weekends, Suffolk Downs will offer an incentive program similar to those in the last several years. In addition to customary purse distribution, owners will receive an additional $500 for horses finishing first through fifth (on top of purse money) while owners of horses finishing sixth through last will receive a payment of $1,200 for races with a purse up to $30,000 and $1,500 for races with a purse greater than $30,000. Trainers will receive participation awards of $400 per starter. For 2019, first-level allowance/ optional claiming races will offer purses of $55,000; maiden special weight races will offer purses of $50,000; $12,500 claiming races will carry a purse of $32,500; $8,000 claiming races will be run for $27,500; and bottom level claiming races will now carry a purse of $20,000. Over the course of each weekend, there will be stakes races restricted to either horses foaled in Massachusetts or sired by a Massachusetts-based stallion. Each offers a purse of $50,000 and is a showcase for the Massachusetts Thoroughbred breeding industry. In addition to live racing, the track will be hosting a food truck festival each weekend featuring food trucks from a variety of local vendors, craft beer, live music and family fun activities. 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. In 2018, the track conducted four weekends of live racing with an average daily purse in excess of $500,000, including incentives. For more information, visit www.suffolkdowns.com. State begins work on Tobin Bridge, Chelsea Curves T he Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) recently began work on the Tobin Bridge/Chelsea Curves Rehabilitation Project, which will have significant traffic impacts, including 24/7 lane closures. The first lane closure was implemented on April 1 and closed the right lane on the Tobin Bridge northbound. Drivers are reminded to position themselves to use the middle and left lanes as soon as they can safely do so. Traffic modeling conducted for this project has shown that allowing drivers in the right lane to merge will create a smoother overall traffic flow. MassDOT requests that all motorists exercise courtesy and caution when traversing the work zone. By early May, lane closures will be implemented on the Chelsea Curves section of Route 1 north and southbound. Combined, the Tobin Bridge and Chelsea Curves carry more than 63,000 drivers on Route 1 through Chelsea and over the Mystic River into Boston. Though they are safe to drive on, both are in critical need of repair. MassDOT is carrying out work along both sections of Route 1 at the same time so that these projects will be completed in 2020, and without the need for weight restrictions and postings. Completion of this necessary project will ensure that the elevated section of Route 1 can continue to carry passenger and freight traffic safely and efficiently and eliminate 15 percent of the structurally deficient bridge deck in Massachusetts, but construction of this nature has inevitable traffic impacts. MassDOT encourages you to leave more time for your trip, exercise caution while traversing the work zone, and if possible, divert to an alternate route or mode of travel in and out of downtown Boston. To be added to the project email list for updates, please visit the project website at https:// www.mass.gov/tobin-bridgechelsea-curves-rehabilitation-project or contact Donny Dailey of MassDOT Government & Public Affairs at Tobin-Chelsea@dot. state.ma.us.

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