I find the Sept. 26 article, “End of the line for Suffolk Downs,” about the untimely demise of Suffolk Downs Raceway, to be demeaning and offensive to anyone who has ever worked on the backside of a racetrack.

The people who hot walk, groom and perform other functions in support of the all-important horse are not low-end or low-life employees.

After I retired from law enforcement (which some might think made me a low-end employee), I went to work for a famous Pennsylvania thoroughbred racing stable. I started as a hot walker, then became a groom and finally a foreman. Conditions and pay were excellent.

Many of my co-workers were college graduates who chose the lifestyle because they wanted to work with horses. My last season before retiring from that position, I worked with people from the United States, Mexico, England, Ireland, France and Germany, none of whom was a low-end or low-life worker.

With the training and experience I received on the job, I can confidently say that, if I so chose, I could get a job at any racetrack, sadly not in Boston, tomorrow.

Maybe the author of the article should try to get a position at a track just to see if he/she is also a lowlife.

Daniel J. Sheehan III


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