JC / Railbird

Celebrating 75 Years

A bird's eye view of opening day at Suffolk Downs, 1935

Dorchester native and Hall of Fame rider Chris McCarron, back in town to help Suffolk Downs celebrate its 75th anniversary today, tells the Boston Globe:

“There are a lot of wonderful things that have happened here.”

There are, and one of those wonderful things was the 1987 MassCap, which Waquoit, with McCarron aboard, won by a hard-fought nose over Broad Brush. Jim Hannon’s race call that day ranks among the best in the game:

I’ll always remember the 2004 MassCap, won by Offlee Wild in a three-way photo over Funny Cide and the Lady’s Groom. It was a thrilling stretch duel:

More Suffolk memories: Ed Gray, the long-time, now retired, turf writer for the Boston Herald, remembers the late James B. Moseley, who’s honored with the Moseley Sprint Stakes. “Against all odds, Moseley, a respected thoroughbred breeder and owner from Hamilton, reinvigorated the state‚Äôs racing industry while considerably bolstering its standing on the national racing scene …” The children of the first owner to win a race at Suffolk Downs will be in the winner’s circle after today’s first, named the Eddie Wrack in memory of that first wining horse, to present those winning connections with a trophy.

From my first visit in August 2003, Suffolk Downs has been a significant part of my life. I look forward to the racetrack being so for many, many more years. From the Railbird archives, here are a few Suffolk highs, Suffolk lows, and handicapping woes, a very special horse, and a cartoon: Brass Hat Wins MassCap and “Open the Doors!” (2007); Michel Lapensee, 1947-2005 (2005); Winning Bets I Didn’t Make (2005) and Missed Opportunity (2004); My Own Private Favorite (2004); Opening day at Suffolk Downs (2006).

If you’re in the Boston area, come on out to Suffolk Downs this afternoon for all the anniversary festivities. Celebrate an institution, enjoy the horses.