06/12/2007 11:00PM

Mass Cap, worth at least $500k, set for Sept. 22


Suffolk Downs announced on Wednesday that the Massachusetts Handicap will be run Sept. 22 this year and will have a base purse of $500,000. The value of the 1 1/18-mile race would grow depending on whether the winner is a Grade 1 winner at a mile or over this year.

Majority track owner Richard Fields announced the date and purse structure at a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Boston.

“The Mass Cap put horse racing at Suffolk Downs on the map,” said Fields. “I believe that great riders and horses will once again make history at Suffolk Downs. Bringing back the Mass Cap is just one component of our ongoing commitment to reinvigorate Thoroughbred racing in New England.”

The race is being positioned five weeks ahead of the Breeders’ Cup and will have a winner’s share of $300,000. A winner of two Grade 1 distance races this year would get an additional $200,000 and a horse with one Grade 1 victory at a mile or more would get $100,000 extra.

The Mass Cap has been scrapped three of the last four seasons because of poor business and will be ungraded this year after formerly being a Grade 2. The Mass Cap was last run in 2004 when Offlee Wild won a three-horse photo over 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide and locally owned The Lady’s Groom.