07/28/2014 2:47PM

Tornado touches down near Suffolk


EAST BOSTON, Mass. – A tornado ripped through the city of Revere, where the stable area of Suffolk Downs is located, on Monday morning, but no humans at the track or horses suffered any injuries and there was no damage to any structures. The afternoon card went on as scheduled.

The tornado, which was confirmed by the National Weather Service, ravaged the city, resulting in multiple building collapses, power outages, downed power lines, uprooted trees, and widespread damage. Major highways were closed following the storm, and police re-routed vehicles through Suffolk Downs.

Track announcer T.D. Thornton was among those caught up in the traffic jams. When Thornton couldn’t arrive by the first race post at 12:45 p.m., Jessica Paquette, Suffolk’s senior director of communications who also serves as the track’s handicapper and race analyst, stepped up and pinch hit in the clutch. It was the first race she had ever called.

“I just had so much fun,” she said. “I will admit I was really nervous but tried to relax and roll with it. It was a great opportunity and Worth the Worry is now a horse I will always remember.”

Shade Tree Farm’s Worth the Worry, trained by Wayne Marcoux and ridden by Luis Garcia, finished first by three-quarters of a length in the six-furlong race. The final time was 1:12.65 over a sloppy main track.