Wednesday was a live race day at Suffolk Downs and there was a certain buzz in the air at the historic Boston racetrack, where Seabiscuit ran eight times, where the Beatles played in 1966. But the overriding mood was sadness.

"Everyone on the backside is depressed today," said Suffolk Downs COO Chip Tuttle. "It’s not a good day."

Wednesday morning, after Wynn Resorts won the Boston-area license for a casino in Everett, Tuttle met with employees to break the news that after 79 years, racing operations here are coming to an end.

"It was a very difficult meeting, as you can imagine," he said. "A lot of people have worked here a lot of years. It’s a tough couple of days around here, but we’re doing our best to work with the employees."

As jockey Tammi Piermarini stood just steps from a finish line she’s crossed for more than 2,000 wins in her 30-year career, she couldn’t help but think back.

"I remember coming in my very first day riding," Piermarini said. "You see where we stand today? You couldn't move, there were so many people. Young, older. The crows were just – it was an overwhelming feeling. It was almost like being at Santa Anita or the Kentucky Derby, there were so many people.

Those good old days were on a lot of folks mind at the track today.

"It’s part of us growing up," Piermarini said. "My father took me here when I was a little girl. It’s always been here, a lifetime. I sat as a little kid selling programs jumping over the fence. A lot of history here, all up in smoke now."

But for those who make their living in the horseracing business, it was the future that hung heaviest. Piermarini will continue to jockey, but she’ll have to leave home to do it.

"I never thought it would come to this," she said. "I grew up here. My home's here. I have three children and a husband and a 20-year-old dog and a young pup. It's time to uproot everybody."

There were groomers, like April Molignino.

"It means no job," Molignino said. "I’ll miss my horses more than anything else."

Patricia Fisher has been tending bar here for the past 23 years.

"Yeah, where am I gonna go?" she asked. "I’m 65 years old."

Then there were the horse owners and trainers, like Greg Rose, who said he now has to go looking for another job.

"We’ve lost everything," he said. "We don’t know what we’re gonna do with our horses, and to most of us, these horses are like our children."

But there were optimists. East Boston natives Lorraine Clifford and Joanne Oliviera were among a handful who expressed hope that racing will still beat the odds and somehow make a comeback here at Suffolk Downs.

"I still think there is some way, maybe someone will come up with some plan," Clifford said. "Well they closed it once before — when was it, back in the '70s or '80s?"

It was actually for two years in the early ‘90s. But Don from South Boston — who visits tracks across the country — says that these days, a racetrack simply can’t survive without a casino.

"Horse tracks attached to casinos are much more vibrant," he said. "Like on a Saturday night there are tracks in the middle of Pennsylvania where it’s a big deal and, like, young people are bringing their dates there."

That squared with Tuttle’s assessment of life at Suffolk Downs after the final race on September 29, which had an air of finality.

"It's a very valuable property," he said. "It's over 150 acres on a major regional highway and two MBTA stations. So there's clearly development potential. And that development potential may help our ownership and it may help us, but that development potential is cold comfort to the people who work here."

That certainly sounds like — after 79 years of jockeying for survival — Suffolk Downs really has reached the finish line.