Suffolk Downs Slashes Simulcasting

Updated: Monday, February 14, 2011 8:36 PM
Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 8:23 PM

By Lynne Snierson

Suffolk Downs has reduced its simulcasting operation in the wake of the ongoing dispute with the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association over a contract for the 2011 live racing season.

In a message posted on the track’s website Feb. 14, Chief Executive Officer Chip Tuttle wrote, “We regret that our simulcast menu has been reduced due to the actions of the New England HBPA and other HBPA affiliates around the country. At issue is a purse agreement for the 2011 race meet. The HBPA’s actions show utter contempt for the bettors who have supported its races for years and complete disregard for the hundreds of employees at Suffolk Downs who face dramatically reduced work schedules as a result of the lack of simulcast product. At the same time, it makes it increasingly difficult for us to generate the purse revenue that the HBPA claims is its motivation. We do not know when this situation will improve and we regret any inconvenience this may cause you.”

The NEHBPA and Suffolk have been embroiled in a bitter disagreement over the number of live racing days, the purse structure, and the split of the simulcast revenue. As a result, the NEHBPA withdrew its consent for races from the New York Racing Association to be simulcast in Massachusetts and then horsemen in Ohio, Florida, Oregon, and Maryland also pulled their signals.

The track will now be closed on Wednesdays, and will offer full card simulcasting only on Thursdays through Mondays. A racetrack source said that staffing has also been cut back. At this juncture, no negotiating sessions between the HBPA and track management are scheduled.


I love how the Management of Suffolk Downs makes the Horsemen & Women out to be the Villains.

” The HBPA’s actions show utter contempt for the bettors who have supported its races for years and complete disregard for the hundreds of employees at Suffolk Downs who face dramatically reduced work schedules as a result of the lack of simulcast product. At the same time, it makes it increasingly difficult for us to generate the purse revenue that the HBPA claims is its motivation.”

Lets get this right shall we. It is Suffolk Downs that is showing contempt for the Horsemen, their own employess and the people who patronize their race track.

These Horsemen & Women go at it 7 days a week, there are no days off in the Horse Racing business.

Hundreds of Race Track Employees?

How about THOUSANDS of Horsemen/Women and it’s connection to Agriculture jobs that are affected when the management of these Race Tracks want to squeeze an Industry already starving to death.

I don’t know about Suffolk Downs Mutual Clerks, but here in Michigan. Every Mutual Clerk that worked at Pinnacle ALL had seniority at Northville Downs and Hazel Park already.

When the Detroit Race Course was operating along with Hazel Park And NVDs. Most of the Mutual Clerks worked all three tracks. I know, I started out in the Mutuals in 1976. The clerks would get off from the Day T.B. meet and drive cross town to the Harness Track and work the night meet. Most held seniority at all three of the Detroit Area Horse tracks. And most got their jobs being related to other relatives through the at one time Mutual Managers. In fact if you weren’t related to these Managers or friends to their relatives, you never got seniority. Mutual Mangers at DRC had brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grand children, and FRIENDS of all. Entire families of 50 worked these jobs. Everybody related to everyone else. Other Moms & Dads with sons, daughters, friends. on and on and on. It was unfair and sickening.

Now those at one time youngsters of their Mutual Manager Dads & Grandfathers are mangers themselves. The Mutual Clerks don’t lose jobs, they just get one less paycheck. Instead of working at two or three tracks they work one. They get no sympathy from me. Because at one time they had their cake and ate it too. They didn’t care about those also at one time youngsters that also stood out on that cat walk and signed in every single day but because they weren’t related to anybody, they were passed by.

On Saturday Afternoon the children of the parents who had seniority had cards waiting for them to work. They didn’t even have to sign in. Others who signed in and stood there on a daily basis would watch this week after week being able to do absolutely nothing about it.

So give it all a friggin break here on some of the Track Employees. Even some ( not all ) the Sports Service employees worked both the Day and Night Tracks here at one time.

I don’t know how Suffolk Downs operates but this track is open 7 days a week. I’m sure long time employees can get unemployment if laid off.

Suffolk Downs is making a fool out of themselves touting the Horsemen have no regards to the Bettors???

I think the Horse players realize that the Race Track is only there because of LIVE RACING. And if the Horsemen are being cheated and held up by the State or Track Management at some point have to take a stand to get what they have earned the right to. A Fair playing field. Most of the Bettors do hold jobs and wouldn’t expect their own jobs to do to them what’s being pulled on the Horsemen. Got news for you the Bettors side with the Horsemen and understand more than you give them credit for.

To me this Statement put out by Suffolk Downs is an insult to every Bettor that goes there. They are not stupid individuals. They realize it is YOUR CONTEMPT that’s preventing a racing meet from going forward there. The track employees know as well that if you can pull the crap you’re pulling on the Horsemen, that you can pull it on them too.

Either let these Employees release their own statements or SHUT UP. Because I’m not sure that they want you speaking on behalf of them. They also know the only reason they have a job is because of the HORSEMEN/WOMEN. Because without them and the Horses Racing, their jobs wouldn’t be needed.

Reality check people. Simulcasting wasn’t always. It started with a Race Track holding a Live Racing Meet. Without the Horsemen/Women, Without the Horses, Without the Live Racing Meet. It’s called what you’re trying to do is have a BETTING PARLOR ONLY, with the Attitude SCREW THE HORSEMEN and their livelihoods.

It is not The New England Horsemen/Women that has contempt for the Race Track employees and certainly not the Bettors. They understood long ago if not for the Patrons coming to the track to bet. You don’t have a Race Track.

Main Point Here. Your  Horsemen have had it with you and your unfair treatment of them and are using the only power they have left to try to rectify this pathetic situation you’ve put them in. To pull their Thoroughbred Signal. It was Suffolk Downs that lost that train of thought that without the Horsemen and a live racing meet. That they indeed have no Race Track.

To now try to twist things around and make the Horsemen out to be the villains is disgusting and shows the unstable behavior of Suffolk Downs management. Angry children having tantrums because for the first time they can’t have they own way. TOUGH

Say it like it is. We are selfish people who really don’t give a rats ass about anybody. The Horsemen & Woman that work at their trade 7 days a week, our Track employees and our Patrons who come into our Track to make us money. The thing is we don’t want to give up a fair share of that money to the Industry of why you have a Race Track to begin with.

The Thoroughbred Horsemen and Women and their Horses.

It is Suffolk Downs that are the selfish pukes that hold contempt for everybody involved. It is they that don’t care about any employee or patron as long as they can rob them blind.

The NEHBPA are desperately attempting to save their Industry and their livelihoods. For it is their Industry that allows the Track, its employees and its patrons to all exist. Suffolk Downs wants to cut the Horsemen’s throats and their right to exist yet wants to continue simulcasting Racing there while the NEHBPA all bleed out to death.

Now who is in Contempt Here?

Hang Tough NEHBPA and don’t back down. I only wish that Michigan had a meet going to pull their signal to support you. At present the MIHBPA can’t even get an answer from The Michigan Gaming Control Board, Attorney General or Pinnacle’s Race Courses Owner Jerry Campbell if we are even going to be able to conduct a Racing Meet in 2011.

Michigan Horsemen need to show up in the State’s Capital in record numbers to demand answers of their own. All I can say is UNITY. I only hope more and more States HBPAs pull there signals at Suffolk to support you.

The Race Track Employees and the Patrons know better than the Bull that Suffolk Downs is trying to spew out.

Suffolk Downs is a desperate disgrace.

Race Tracks were built to accommodate Horses and their Horsemen. If the tracks no longer want this package than the Race Track is not needed. Let Suffolk Downs and any other Race Tracks understand you want to be Bookies, you’ll have to be bookies without a Race Track to conduct your business.


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