The last thought, it seems, in the casino bill in Eastern Massachusetts, which is between Everett and Revere at this point, is the thoroughbred horse and its connections.

It's always about "Show me the money." Both entities are vying for the lone license for a full-scale casino in the state.

Still, if Steve Wynn's bid of $1.3 billion wins out in Everett, where does that leave Suffolk Downs and its horsemen, who need to make decisions of their own regarding the next calendar year?

The East Boston voters nixed a proposed casino on their property, possibly because the Gaming Commission saw an impropriety between the Suffolk Downs alliance with Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and their partnership with an alleged Russian mobster group.

Suffolk has subsequently allied with the Mohegan Sun group, which was denied by the voters in Palmer, and has stepped in with supposed acquisitions of $15 billion dollars , with no attachments.

The city of Revere, which has approved of a casino on its land, has welcomed the opportunity. A vote on a new approval could come as early as mid-February.

But the larger question remains: If Suffolk Downs were to win the bid, on behalf of the Mohegan Sun, where would the casino be built and what would happen to the horses?

You see, much of the Suffolk barn area is on Revere property, which is where the casino must lay. There is talk that some of the horses would be moved to barns constructed where the grandstand is currently located. That would be fine for the horses and trainers, contiguous to the paddock, but what about the safety of the patrons?

Suffolk Downs has also entered into an agreement with Wonderland Park, which formerly ran greyhound racing. Where does that stand, regarding the property? There are a lot of questions out there, including the future, if any, of thoroughbred racing in this state.

"The timing is definitely not good," said Bruce Batton, the Director of Racing for the New England HBPA. "The horsemen have to make plans about laying their horses up and shipping to where they can race this winter. And what about the stallions and their mates and the internet wagering, which makes it look like people aren't at the track even though they're wagering as much they ever were?"

There is even talk about building another racetrack in Massachusetts, apart from a casino entity, much like the Sterling Suffolk LLC group discussed in the 1990's.

If Everett wins the bid, that idea may have some merit. If the Mohegan Sun wins the license for Eastern Mass., they will own the casino and Suffolk Downs will be merely the landlords. Mohegan has said they won't guarantee that throroughbred racing will be part of the equation. How can the local horsemen, who have been so loyal over the years, live with that scenario?

In the end, it would be such a shame to have our grandchildren come to us and ask, "Hey Grandma, what did a real horse look like, anyway?" I don't want to even think about that possibility. But in all the hoopla about casinos, the racing community has taken a back seat.

Paul Daley's e-mail address is pjdaleys@verizon.net