Could Live Horse Racing Find a Home in the Berkshires? | Connecting Point | June 18, 2018
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Could Live Horse Racing Find a Home in the Berkshires? | Connecting Point | June 18, 2018

August 10, 2019


>>WITH LIVE HORSE RACING COMING
TO AN END IN SUFFICOLK DOWNS IN THE EASTERN PART OF THE STATE,
THE SPORT COULD FIND A KNEW HOM IN THE BECRKSHIRES. SUFFILLFOLK DOWNS CHIEF OPERATI
OFFICE CHIP TUTTLE IS LOOKING AT THE OLD FAIRGROUNDS IN GREAT
BARIRINGTON AS A PLACE TO HOLD LIMITED NUMBER OF LIVE RACING
DATES WITH OFF TTRACK BETTING TE PLACE IN BOSTON. I SAT DOWN WITH TAXUTTLE TO LEA
MORE.>>WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR
ALTERNATE SITES FOR RACE TRACK, OR RACETRACK DEVELOPMENT IN
MASSACHUSETTS AND I CAME OUT TO GREAT BARIRINGTON BACK IN POLIC
CAR AND MAR — MARCH AND IT HAD GREAT RACETRACK. I WAS REALLY PLEASANT LY
SURPRISED — IT HASN’T BEEN USED IN A LONG TIME BUT THE STRUCTURE
IS STILL THERE. IT’S A LITTLE BIT CESARSERENDIP. HI MEAN, WE’RE LOOKING FOR A
RACING FACILITY AND THERE’S ONE HERE IN THE SWCOMMONWEALTH THAT
HOPE, HOPEFULLY, WE’LL BE ABLE TO TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF AND GET BACK UP AND RUNNING MAYBE AS SOON AS NEXT
YEAR.>>TO OYOUR POINT THE LAST TIME
THERE WAS RACING IN GREAT B BARRINGTON WAS IN 1998 BUT
PREVIOUSLY IT HAD BEEN THERE FOR A FOR QUITE A FEW YEARS SINCE
199 EI8, YOU KNOW THE INDUSTRY SEEN A DECLINE IN THE PURSE W
WINNINGS, EIGT CETERA, YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT THIS
TIME AROUND IF YOU BROUGHT RACING BACK TO GREAT BARIRINGTO?>>YWELL, THERE HAVE BEEN SOME
DECLINES IN THUREO BRED RAI RAISING — THUREO BRED RACING AS
OTHER FORMS OF GAMBLING HAVE BECOME MORE POPULAR. AS CASINO GAMBLING HAVE COME
DOWN TO 2 STATES 24 HOYEARS AGOO NEVADA AND NEW JERSEY TO 40
STATES.>>WE HAVE ONE HERE? IN
SPRINGFIELD WITH ANYTHING THAT YOU DO IN GREAT BARIRINGTON.>>WHAT’S DIFFERENT THIS TIME
WE’RE NOT PROPOSE ING TO HAVE A LONGER RACE MEET. WE WEREN’T ABLE TO MAKE IT WORK
IN BOSTON WHEN WE WERE RUNNING 80 OR 1 00, OR 120 DAYS A YEAR. WE’RE NOW ONLY RUNNING A FEW
DAYS A YEAR. THERE’S ANOTHER DIFFERENCE IN
THAT THE PURSE MONEY NOW IS S SUPPLEMENTED WITH FUNDING FROM
THE EXPANDED GAMING FACILITIES IN MASSACHUSETTS. THERE’S A THING CALLED THE R
RACEHORSE DEVELOPMENT FUND CREATED BY THE GAMING LAW. IT TAKES A SMALL PORTION OF THE
BETTING PROCEEDS FROM THE SLOT PARLOR IN PLAINVILLE,
MASSACHUSETTS AND FROM THE CASINOS WHEN THEY’RE UP SCAND
RUNNING. THE ONE IN SPRINGFIELD AND THE
ONE IN EAVERETT SO THAT HELPS FUND THE PURSES AND WHAT ARWE’R
PROPOSING IS NOT TO FHAVE A YEAR-ROUND RACING FACILITY IN
GREAT BARIRINGTON.>>SO WOULD IT WOULD SLAYER FOR
THE 3 LONG WEEKENDS.>>YEAH , SO WE RUN 3, 6, 8 DAY
A YEAR. 6 DAY SCHEDULE FOR THIS YEAR. WE MIGHT ADD ANOTHER WEEKEND OR
TWO. WHAT ARWE’RE LOOKING TO DO IS T
WALK BEFORE WE RUN OUT THERE AND GET A PROGRAM UP SCAND RUNNING D
ESTABLISHED AND WE’RE ALSO PLANNING — HOPEFULLY ABLE TO
CONTINUE THE PROCESS OF WAGERING IN BOSTON. SO WHERE THE POPULATION CENTER
IS WE CAN CONTINUE TO PROCESS SIMULTANEOUS C– SIM YOULCAST RG
THERE AND BIFURCATING THE RACES HERE AT THE FAIRGROUNDS.>>AND THAT WILL BE DE PEPENDEN
FOR A CHANGE IN THAT LITIGCENSED YOU’VE REQUESTED THAT FROM THE
LEGISLATURE, RIGHT?>>THERE’S 3 THINGS WE’RE
LOOKING FOR LEDGEGISLATIVELY HELP GET THIS DONE. THE BIFURCATION OF THE LICENSE
OR HTHE ABILITY TO HOLD TWO LICENSES ONE IN BOSTON —
>>SO YOU’D RUN THE LIVE HORSE RACING IN GREAT BARIRINGTON AND
KEEP –>>AND WE’D ONLY HAVE WAGERING
ON GREAT BARIRINGTON ON THE DAY THAT WE WERE RACING, RIGHT? THE SECOND IS A 10-YEAR
EXTENSION OF OUR LICENSE. RIGHT NOW WE’RE YEAR -TO-YEAR BT
IN ORDER TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL INVESTMENT, YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO
KNOW WHAT WE’RE GOING TO BOE AROUND FOR A LONG TIME. THE CASINO LICENSE I THINK AN
INITIAL 15-YEAR PERIOD. WE’RE ASKING FOR 10-YEAR
EXTENSION OF OUR LICENSE SO THAT WE CAN REALLY DO THIS AND DO
THIS THIS THE RIGHT WAY AND THE OTHER THING WE’RE ASKING FOR AND
WE -DIDN’T REALLY COME UP WITH THIS IS THE MASSACHUSETTS GAMING
COMMISSION PROPOSED A BILL AND THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATE HAS A
BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW A PORTION OF THAT RACEHORSE DEVELOPMENT
FUND THAT WE TALKED ABOUT — A RAPORTION OF THAT COULD BE USED
FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND OPERATION AL EXPENSES, AND IF
THAT’S THE CASE, YOU KNOW, AND IT’S 10 M$10 MILLION TO RE FFUR
THE FAIRGROUNDS WE COULD PUT IN 6 OR 7 AND MAYBE GET 3 OR 4 FROM
THE FUND. IT CERTAINLY WOULD GIVE THE
HORSE MAN AND THE HORSE WOMEN TE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE HORIZON AND
TRAIN THEM AND OWN THE FAMILY FARMS HERE IN MASSACHUSETTS AN
OPPORTUNITY TO RUN FOR THE MONEY THAT’S BEEN BUILDING UP IN THAT
PURSE FUND YOU.>>AND SO TO OYOUR POINT ABOUT
WHAT THE FAIRGROUNDS IN GREAT BARIRINGTON LOOKS LIKE. IT’S OWNED RIGHT NOW BUT IT’S
LARGELY DORM JANT. DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF WHAT
THE INVESTMENT WOULD NEED TO BE?>>WE’RE WORKING ON THAT RIGHT
NOW. SORT OF AN INITIAL FORECAST IS
IN THE 10 M$10 MILLION RANGE, A BUT I’VE GOT SOME ENGINEERS AND
ARCHITECTS AND OTHER EXPERTS GOING IN TO LOOK AT THE PROPERTY
TO GIVE US A FULL JER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THOSE
COSTS WILL BE AND IF WE COULD DO IT ALL AT ONCE OR IN PHASES SO
WE SHOULD KNOW THAT IN 3 OR 4 WEEKS.>>AND DO YOU THINK THAT THE
SIZE OF THE OPERATION AT SUFFSUFFOLK
DOWNS, THOSE 3 WEEKENDS YOU CURRENTLY HAVE ON THE BOOKS AND
THE PEOPLE YOU THINK WOULD BE COMPARABLE IN BARIRINGTON OR WIL
THE OPERATION BE SMALLER THERE?>>SO THE FACILITIY’S SMALLER,
THE PLANT IS SMALLER, THE CROWDS WOULD BE SMALLER. THE BEAUTY OF THIS PROPOSAL IT
PROVERBS OUR WORK — PRESERVES OR WORK FOURS — WORKFORCE AND
THE BET SELL JERS AND THE RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES AND THE
CLEANING CREW AND THE TELEVISION PRODUCTION CREW. WE’VE GOT ALMOST 1 00 JOBS AT TE
FACILITY YEAR-ROUND FOR SIM CASTING. I WE HOPE TO PRESERVE THOSE JOBS
WHILE ADDING THE JOBS OF MASSACHUSETTS OF BREED ERS AND
THE HORSEMEN AND HORSE WOMEN AND THE FAMILY FARMS AND ALSO ADDING
ADDITIONAL SEASONAL JOBS OUT HERE, WE NEED, YOU KNOW, DURING
THE TIME WE’RE RACING WE’D PROBABLY NEED ANOTHER 60 TO 80
PEOPLE JUST TO WORK AT THE FACILITY DURING THAT TIME FRAME. WE’RE INITIALLY PROPOSING THE
FIRST YEAR OR SO WE HAVE A PROGRAM SIMILAR TO WHAT WE’RE
DOING AT SUFFICOLK DOWNS WHICH WE RACE A WEEKEND. A WEEKEND IN JUNE, WEEKEND IN
JULY, WEEKEND IN AUGUST. MAYBE A WEEKEND IN SEPTEMBER FOR
GREAT BARIRINGTON I THINK WE’D LOOK A LITTLE FURTHER IN THE
YEAR, INITIAL CONVERSATIONS WITH SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN THE TOWN,
TONG OFWN OFFICIALS AND SOME OF BUSINESS AND THE SHOULDER SEASON
IS IMPORTANT –>>THE TIME NOT DURING THE
SUMMER PEAK — T[TALKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]
>>SO MAYBE — MAYBE MORE OF AN AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER TIME
FRAME IN GREAT BARIRINGTON SO THAT’S — YOU KNOW, IT’S VERY
EARLY IN THE GAME. WE’VE GOT TO GET THROUGH THE
LEDGEGISLATIVE PROCESS AND THEN KIND OF GO FROM THERE.>>ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS HAVE
BEEN — RAISED CONCERNS ABOUT THE CONDITIONS THAT THE HORIZON
LIVE UNDER, ARE RACE D UNDER AN THERE’S A NON PRPROFIT CALLED HE
RACING WRONG. IT SAYS DEATH OF THE TRACK IS
ALWAYS, HAS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE AN INHERENT PART OF THIS
INDUSTRY. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT?>>I DON’T.
1AND WE WELCOME THAT CON CONVERSATION. AT SUFFICOLK DOWNS WE’RE VERY
PROUD OF OUR RECORD ON ISSUES OF SAFETY AND WARILY WARILY AN
AND — WELFARE AND AFTERCARE WE TAKE CARE OF THE HORSES. I WOULD ARGUE THUREO BRED HORSES
ARE THE BEST CARED FOR ANIMAL IN THE WORLD. THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
WEBWENT FROM SORT OF BEHIND THE CURVE 20
YEARS AGO TO 3 OR 4 YEARS AGO ADOPTING TO SOME OF THE MOST
STRINGENT SAFETY AND DRUG TESTING MEDICATION STANDARDS IN
THE COUNTRY. YOU KNOW, WE’RE NEVER GOING TO
BE ABLE TO SATISFY SORT OF EXTREME FAR-FAR —
>>STILL 1 T,000 TO 2 T,000 HORA YEAR — T
[TALKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]>>THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO
NO — THERE’S ALWAYS GOING TO BE A CHANCE THAT THERE’S SOMEARY OR
SOME ACCIDENT BUT WE WORK REALLY HARD TO ENSURE THE SAFE RACING
ENVIRONMENT FOR THE HORSE AND HUMAN AND WE HOPE THEY’RE
IMPORTANT CARED FOR WHEN THEY’RE RACING AND WHEN THEY’RE DONE
RACING. WE ADOPTED THE FIRST IN THE
COUNTRY, MANDATORY ANTISLAUGHTER POLICY AT SUFFICOLK DOWNS IN 20. SEVERAL OF THE TRACKS FOLLOWED
SUIT. I PERSONALLY HAVE RETIRED A
SUFFICOLK DOWNS HORSE AND OWNED THAT HORSE MYSELF, AS HAVE
OTHERS. ONE OF OUR OWNERS, SOME OF THE
OTHER PEOPLE THAT WORKED THERE. WE WORK WITH ACCREDITED
ORGANIZATIONS THETHORO BRED AT THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
WITH INMATES. IT’S A CULTUREAL INITIATIVE.>>HYPOTHETICAL LY THE LED
LEGISLATIVE PROCESS WHICH YOU’RE HOWORKING THAT IT DOES AND WHAT
YOU NEED IS HOPING IS 2019, IS THE —
>>WE’RE PLANNING FOR 2019 BECAUSE WE HAVE NO IDEA IF WE’RE
STILL GOING TO HAVE ACCESS TO SUFFICOLK DOWNS FOR RACING I
2020. THE DEVELOP JERS THAT BOUGHT TH
PROPERTY IS PITCHING AMAZON HEADQUARTERS. WO
IF THAT DOESN’T WORK O OUT, THE THERE WILL BE SOME LARGE MIXED
USE DEVELOPMENT THAT WILL START ON THE PROPERTY AS SOON AS NEXT
YEAR SO WE MAY BE EABLE TO EEK OUT ONE MORE LYEAR AT SUFFIOLK
DOWNS AND BARIRINGTON WOULD BE 2020 BUT WE’RE PLANNING ON
ARRRACING AT GREAT BARIRINGTO 2019 IF WE’RE ABLE TO GET THE
CHANGES TO THE LEGISLATION.

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  1. Great interview! For supplemental information on why horse racing is terrible for horses, please see this informational video on the subject.

    https://youtu.be/MrT0h6NXjcA

  2. They declined because they aren't giving the fans an reason to go.free umbrellas hats blankets t-shirts.. little plush horses for children.i loved going to sufflok.my last free gift white mass cap that. My gem…do it right this time .. it's about family going so they can make memories I rather go to Berkshires with grandkids but do it right..Don't fall like Saratoga starting too..

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