04/07/2004 11:00PM

Sinkhole delays Suffolk training

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A 10-foot sinkhole caused by heavy rains last week has delayed the opening of training on the Suffolk Downs main track until it can be repaired.

The hole opened near the half-mile pole when a drainage outlet flooded last Thursday, the day the track was scheduled to open for training after having been closed for the winter last December.

Suffolk officials are not sure how long repairs will take but are hoping to be ready for the meet's opening day, Saturday, May 1.

This was the first year without winter racing at Suffolk in 12 years and the first winter without any Thoroughbred racing in New England in nearly three decades.