- The Head Chef and I are leaving early Friday morning for Boston, and we'll attend MassCap day at Suffolk Downs on Saturday. We've scored an invite for the official MassCap cocktail party the evening before. Proper attire is kindly requested, so it appears as if I'll have to bring some real clothes to wear on this trip. The party would be fun to liveblog I'm sure, but I'd feel stupid walking around with a laptop, so I'll have to restrict that to race day. The Head Chef is extremely excited, already plotting out dining possibilities and obsessing over transportation issues. Is it really that hard to get around the city in an automobile?
I haven't been to Beantown since September of 1978, when I attended the Yankees-Red Sox series that came to be known as the "Boston Massacre." I suppose those games will always bring back unpleasant memories for Red Sox fans no matter how many World Series they may win. I also vaguely recall spending a night at the old Foxboro harness track....but just vaguely. And not just because it was 30 years ago.
So, we'll spend some time here this week on MassCap news. Nick Zito is expected to start Commentator, who will hopefully make his first appearance since his dominant Whitney win. Suffolk's VP of racing Sam Elliot describes that as 'good news and bad news,' as horsemen don't seem particularly interested in facing him. The seven-year old gelding has been assigned "high weight" (yuk yuk) of 122 pounds. Other horses that are nominated and/or I've seen mentioned as possibilities are, from the Asmussen barn, Student Council, Pyro, Magna Graduate, and Zanjero (According to Elliott, Asmussen promised that at least one runner from his stable will run in Boston), as well as last year's third place finisher Dr. Pleasure, Fairbanks, AP Arrow, Sweetnorthernsaint, Angliana, Grasshopper, and Evening Attire (and you know I'd be real hepped up about him).
This will be the second year of the MassCap revival under track owner Richard Fields, who has devoted a portion of his personal fortunes towards the race's $500,000 purse. Whereas the MassCap was promoted heavily in the Boston area last year, this year's marketing will include a more national focus as well.
The national pitch is important, among other things, in that it will generate interest in betting on the race at simulcasting centers in cities across the country, said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk’s chief operating officer. Ads are being taken out in a number of industry publications read by racing fans.The MassCap is a Win And You're In race; and there will be three other stakes races on the card. More on the races as the week progresses.
“It’s important to us that . . . fans in California and New York and Chicago, that they watch and wager on the race,” Tuttle said. [Boston Herald]