09/02/2015 2:16PM

Steven Pini, Suffolk Downs track superintendent, dies at 63

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Steven J. Pini, the longtime track superintendent at Suffolk Downs and the 2009 recipient of the Sam McCracken Memorial Award for lifetime contributions to New England racing, died Sept. 1 after suffering a sudden heart attack. He was 63.

Pini had been overseeing the main track and turf course preparations as the track readies to reopen for training on Friday and 13 live races on Saturday.

He was a third-generation Suffolk Downs employee, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who joined the staff when the 80-year-old track opened in 1935, and his father, who came on board in 1938 and stayed for the next 40 years.

Pini is survived by his wife, Joyce; daughters Jaclyn Peppucci and Christine Pini; and grandchildren Sam, Madeline, and Lilah.

The wake will be at the McDonald Funeral Home in Wakefield, Mass., on Thursday from 4-8 p.m. and a funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph's Church in Wakefield on Friday morning.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to St. Jude's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
Starter Tom Schwigen and now Track Superintendent Steve Pini. Although Suffolk Downs is/was not a top level track, these two gentlemen were TOPS in their fields IMO. You don't replace people like that(although Spike is an excellent starter). Steve kept the track open through Boston winters. The men under Steve sometimes had to work 24 hour shifts. 3rd generation Suffolk employee!!! Prayers for strength and acceptance to his family and friends.