Many agree that horse racing in Massachusetts is a rich social experience, with more emphasis on appreciating the beauty of peak-performance horses in motion, and spending time with other horse lovers, than about wagering. Horse racing in Massachusetts is relatively new when compared to the long horse racing history of some States. Located in East Boston, Suffolk Downs Horse Racing Track was established in 1935, at the time when pari-mutuel wagering had just been legalized in the State of Massachusetts. From humble beginnings, the track has developed and improved over the years and has seen its fair share of legendary horses thundering across the finish line. Plainridge Racecourse opened on 17 March 1999 as a harness horse racing track in Plainville, offering both live and simulcast racing. Another popular venue for racing activity is the Northampton County Fair which hosts an excellent program of thoroughbred horse racing as part of the county fair in September each year.
The Massachusetts State Racing Commission oversees thoroughbred and harness racing, ensuring that rules are adhered to, for the welfare of the horses, as well as to protect the integrity of the horse racing industry.