The $75,000 Jill Jellison Memorial Stakes will highlight an 11-race card as live racing returns to Suffolk Downs this Saturday, July 8th.
Longtime Suffolk Downs-based trainers Jay Bernardini, William Sienkewicz and Bobby Raymond as well as prominent national outfits including Christophe Clement, Wesley Ward and Linda Rice have entered for the weekend’s races.
The $75,000 Jill Jellison Memorial Stakes is a five furlong turf race restricted to fillies and mares and named in honor of Jill Jellison, a pioneer member of the local jockey colony who passed away after a battle with cancer in 2015. The black-type race has drawn a field of nine included Spellker, a three-year-old daughter of City Zip trained by Wesley Ward and owned in part by former New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.
In addition to the Jill Jellison Memorial Stakes, Saturday’s card will include six turf races.
“We have put together strong cards for both days and are looking forward to the return of live racing and to welcoming horses, horsemen and women and local racing fans back to Suffolk Downs this weekend,” said Chip Tuttle, the Chief Operating Officer at Suffolk Downs.
Over the course of the weekend, there will be three stakes races restricted to horses foaled in Massachusetts – the African Prince Stakes, the Rise Jim Stakes and the Isadorable Stakes. Each offers a purse of $50,000 and is a showcase for the Massachusetts Thoroughbred breeding industry. Sunday’s Rise Jim Stakes will feature a match-up between Worth the Worry, the winner of the 2015 edition and runner up in 2016, and brilliant four-time local stakes winner Dr. Blarney.
There will be many familiar faces taking part in the opening card including popular local jockeys David Amiss, the leading rider at Suffolk Downs in 2014, and Tammi Piermarini, the third most winning female jockey in history.
Post time for the 11 race card is at 12:35 p.m. and gates open at 11:00 a.m. In addition to live racing, the track will be hosting a food truck festival featuring food trucks from over a dozen vendors, craft beer, live music and family fun activities for the whole family.
Live racing will continue on Sunday with ten races including the $50,000 Rise Jim Stakes and the $50,000 Isadorable Stakes.