12/30/2006 1:00AM

Law sunsets, Suffolk dark


Suffolk Downs will be closed Monday and Tuesday and could remain dark longer after the Massachusetts legislature failed to renew or extend the laws that allow simulcasting.

The state's four racetracks had been working under an extension bill passed last spring following a similar legislative impasse that forced a shutdown of simulcasting for five days.

That law expired Sunday and lawmakers had only one day left of informal sessions on Thursday before they recess until Jan. 8, when formal sessions resume.

Two tracks - Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park and the harness track Plainridge Racecourse - have been at odds over the rights to simulcast Thoroughbred races. Because the legislature is in informal sessions, new laws require unanimous consent and both tracks have supportive representatives capable of killing any bills they don't favor. An agreement made it out of the State Senate Thursday, but died in the House.