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Massachusetts Gaming Regulators Try To Keep Door Open To Thoroughbred Racing

Gambling regulators in Massachusetts promised Thursday to explore options for saving thoroughbred racing as the last track in the state, Suffolk Downs, is preparing to close.

   The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will accept “placeholder” applications by an October 1st deadline to request  live racing dates in 2015. Commission chairman Stephen Crosby said a strategy session will be scheduled with horsemen, breeders and other industry stakeholders.

   "We are trying to work our way around every impediment that might get in the way of a reasonable good faith effort to keep the door open to a possibility," Crosby said at a commission meeting in Boston.

      Suffolk Downs officials say the last day of live racing for the season, and possibly forever, will be Oct. 4th.  Simulcasting will continue until the end of December.  The 80-year-old track is shutting down after losing a bid for a casino.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.