Director of Racing Alexandra Lightbown Thanks Seasonal Racing Staff after 2021 Season

Having reached the end of the 2021 racing season, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the MGC’s Division of Racing staff.

Long-time staff members were joined by six new Division of Racing hires this year. Returning staff did a great job helping to train the new members, who jumped right in to support the Division of Racing.

Unlike 2020, when the opening of racing was delayed by three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Plainridge Park Casino was able to open on time and complete their whole season of racing.  The marquee races, the Spirit of Massachusetts Trot ($250,000 purse) and the Clara Barton Pace ($100,000 purse), were joined by the renewal of the Bert Beckwith Pace ($50,900 purse). These races shine a national spotlight on Plainridge Park, and I thank everyone for the extra effort that goes into making sure it all goes smoothly.

The Sire Stake races for Massachusetts-bred Standardbreds continued to be competitive. The Division of Racing supported all of these races with extra testing, and our licensing team processed many new participating licensees.

Once again, the staff worked in all kinds of weather, and were flexible when racing needed to be cancelled and rescheduled due to extreme heat. From the Judges’ booth, to licensing and finance, and to the test barn, the Division of Racing clearly demonstrated the pride they take in their work.

For the seasonal racing staff, many of them return to their other work, commit to their education, or enjoy the winter months until the racing season starts again in April. We wish them well until Opening Day in 2022, and we thank them for going above and beyond during this 2021 racing season as we continued to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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