The last weekend at Suffolk Downs had it all. Everyone seemed to be chasing a memory. Over two days, 21,000 fans paid homage to the East Boston oval, a holdover from the days when horse racing and baseball were the country’s most popular sports. The 84-year-old track, now slated for redevelopment, saw everything from the legendary horses Seabiscuit and Cigar to one of the final performances by the Beatles.
Jockey Ricardo Martinez was heartbroken. He was born in Boston in 1982 into a horse racing family.
“I rode my first horse here, technically,” he said. “My dad put me on a horse in the stall here on the backside. I was two months old. I drove 3,200 miles across the country just to ride here before it closed. For me this is where it all started.”