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Sep 01, 2006

Massachusetts Handicap cancelled


East Boston, MA (Sports Network) - The September 30th running of the Massachusetts Handicap (MassCap) has been called off due to financial problems. Suffolk Downs' premier race was not conducted last year, nor in 2003.

"We continue to be negatively impacted by the onslaught of gaming in Rhode Island and Connecticut and the current impasse in the Legislature has caused a troubling atmosphere of uncertainty," said Suffolk Downs chief operating officer Bob O'Malley. "We are concerned about finishing our fall meet and the possibility of a protracted shut down in 2007 due to the impending expiration of enabling legislation.

"To date, we have been able to maintain adequate purse levels and our commitment to the local horsemen. This is a difficult decision because local racing fans look forward to the MassCap, but we cannot justify it based on our current business levels."

The MassCap was once a major stakes race for older horses. All-time great Cigar won the race in 1995 and 1996, and Skip Away captured the race in 1997 and 1998.

This year the race was to carry a purse of $300,000, down from the $650,000 it once boasted. The MassCap was not run from 1990 through 1994.

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