THE BACKSIDE OF A RACETRACK
They are a family, forged together with the common goal of taking care of the Thoroughbreds entrusted to their care.
Yet life on the “backside” of Suffolk Downs is a dirty, dangerous and hardscrabble one for the trainers, assistant trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, grooms, hotwalkers, blacksmiths, outriders, and other workers who put their hands on these hot-blooded horses every day of the racing season.
Here the purses are the at the bottom of the barrel for the east coast while the level of uncertainty about the future of their livelihood is sky-high because of the lingering question of a casino license.
Still, the backside, replete with its own language, culture and community of fascinating characters, comes to life every morning before dawn, every racing season. —Lynne Snierson