05/10/2012 3:08PM

Suffolk Downs: Meet scheduled to open June 2


Suffolk Downs locked in its planned 2012 schedule Thursday by announcing an agreement with New England horsemen and is now set to open racing June 2, two weeks later than recent years in a move designed to allow more trainers to filter north from their winter circuits.

The opening of the expected-to-be 80-day season will feature an appearance by Larry Collmus, race caller for NBC Sports and former Suffolk track announcer from 1992-2008.

The track announced plans for a pair of three-day racing weeks initially, running Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for two weeks. Tuesdays will then be added to the schedule through Sept. 30. Come October, plans are to return to three-day weeks through the end of the season in November. Legislation reducing the number of live racing days necessary to simulcast from 100 to 80 is working its way through the Statehouse.

Purses will remain at the same levels as 2011, with a minimum of $8.25 million offered and an average daily payout of $103,125. The track and horsemen bitterly fought over those numbers last year, but there was no acrimony this past winter.

Suffolk’s push to land a resort casino license got a boost last weekend when potential rival bidders alligned with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Wynn Resorts withdrew their plans in the wake of unfavorable local elections.