At least two parties plan to file applications to run thoroughbred horse racing in Massachusetts in 2015, including an organization of horse owners and trainers that says it intends to continue racing at Suffolk Downs, the East Boston landmark slated to close after nearly 80 years on Saturday.
The plan by the owners and trainers is still a work in progress, but a meeting between the horsemen and Suffolk Downs managers on Monday produced a glimmer of hope for keeping racing alive.
The owners and trainers asked for the meeting to sound out the Suffolk Downs managers on the group’s leasing the facility.
“We told them that, yes, we would definitely be open-minded to a plan for them to lease the track, but we reminded them it was daunting task they faced,” said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk Downs chief operating officer.
Leaders of the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association said they planned to file a “placeholder” application for a racing date.
Under state law, applications for approved racing dates in 2015 must be filed by the end of the day on Wednesday. Ordinarily, applications include race location, the proposed number of race dates, and other specifics. But last week the state gambling commission indicated it would accept even the barest expression of interest as a legitimate application in order to meet the deadline.
George Carney, owner of Raynham Park, said on Monday he planned to file an application Tuesday to operate thoroughbred racing at the Brockton Fair. The gambling commission has until Nov. 15 to vote on applications.