Today marks the 2014 running of the Belmont Stakes, in which California Chrome will be competing for the first Triple Crown in 36 years. While East Boston’s famous horse track Suffolk Downs expects thousands of spectators to show up to t0 watch the race there, it could potentially be the last time Bostonians have the privilege of doing so. Depending on how the Massachusetts Gaming Commission awards casino licensing, Suffolk Downs partner Mohegan Sun could either be given the opportunity to build in Revere and would keep the 79-year-old track open, or the casino permit will be denied and Suffolk Downs may not live to see 80.
With that threat looming, we took a peek inside the historic track to catch a glimpse of its beautiful horses, its rich history, and those who continue to occupy its stands. The same horse track in which the Beatles played many moons ago, the same track in which your grandpa may have placed a bet, the same track that has kept the sport of horse racing going in the Boston area for decades, is now looking at a fork in the road, and here’s what it looks like.