Run Baby, Run! [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Say so long to Suffolk Downs, the region's last thoroughbred track, with only three racing festival weekends left: May 18-19, June 8-9 and June 29-30, 2019. And then that will be the end for the historic East Boston facility built in 1935.
The racetrack that once hosted a number of famous horses like Seabiscuit, Whirlaway, Funny Cide, and Cigar will be leveled after its final race.
Don't miss this chance to say goodbye to a piece of Americana. There will be food trucks galore, live music, craft beer, and family fun activities. Suffolkdowns.com has all the details.
And if you're a horse fan like me, let's push our Beacon Hill reps to agree to create legislation that would give greener pastures to the Great Barrington Fairgrounds to enable it to run horses in the Berkshires.
Thoroughbred horse racing here faces other challenges, namely competition for local gamblers' dollars. The grab is getting fiercer. You have Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Trotters & Casino, Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Twin River, Tiverton Hotel Casino and now that online sports betting is legal in Rhode Island with mobile apps, horse race betting has suffered.
An idea to make thoroughbred racing financially feasible is to create a state-managed fund for prizes that are built on a tax on bets at existing casinos.
As we bid farewell to Suffolk Downs, the land will be developed into housing and a shopping district similar to Boston Landing. Or who knows, maybe Amazon will reconsider its headquarters, but I'm not betting on that happening.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.