TODAY’S TRACK FROM THE PAST – BERKSHIRE DOWNS

Berkshire Downs

Berkshire Downs was a half mile Thoroughbred track in Hancock Massachusetts. It started out in 1960 as a commercial racetrack that hosted 24 days of racing, sharing the allotted Massachusetts thoroughbred race dates with Suffolk Downs in East Boston. It also closed out the Massachusetts Fair Circuit with six days of racing in the fall.

TODAY’S TRACK FROM THE PAST – SPORTSMAN PARK – CHICAGO

Sportsman Park

The title refers to the story that famous gangster Al Capone was part owner of Sportsman’s park which at that time in the 1920’s was a dog track. Being that dog racing wasn’t legal in Illinois it was shut down. It’s alleged that Mr. Capone and a business partner wanted a piece of Hawthorne Turf Course which was adjacent to the Sportsman Park facility but were rebuffed by the owners at that time. Not to be denied they turned Sportsman’s Park into a horse racing facility.

TODAY’S TRACK FROM THE PAST – TROPICAL PARK

Tropical Park

Tropical Park opened in 1931, after a forty year run, it was put out to pasture in 1972. Located in Coral Gables about twelve mile from Miami it featured an open air grandstand, that sat 8,750 with a climate controlled clubhouse that sat another 4,270. There was also a set of bleachers or field stand as they called it, that sat another 1,500. The track itself was a one mile dirt oval. in 1966 the first synthetic track “The Tartan Track” was installed inside the main track, but was sparingly used. There was accommodations for 1,300 horses on the grounds. As was the custom at most large tracks during that era, you could always get yourself a trim or a shave at the track barber shop.

TODAY’S TRACK FROM THE PAST – SUFFOLKS DOWNS

Suffolk Downs

On the afternoon of Saturday, October 4th, 2014 Bo Badger, Taylor Hole up nipped Saratoga invader, Indy’s Illusion at the wire, bringing to a close nearly eighty years of racing at the East Boston oval. Losing out on a bid for a casino the new owners decided to throw in the towel, opting for redevelopment. Suffolk Downs may be officially closed for live racing but in 2015 and 2016, three weekends of live racing have been conducted, which featured many stakes races for Mass Breds. While the track is awaiting it’s final fate it is still open for simulcasting.