Opening Day of the 2011 live racing season at Suffolk Downs is this Saturday, May 21, Preakness Stakes Day. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. and first post time for the nine-race program is 1:15 p.m. Parking and admission will be free on Opening Day and for the duration of the live meet.
In addition to live racing, the track will simulcast the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, MD, where Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom will continue his quest for racing's elusive Triple Crown. Wagering on the Preakness Stakes will be available both Friday and Saturday.
Daily overnight purses for the 2011 meet will be $103,125, which represents a 30% increase from 2010 purse levels. After the May 21st opening, live racing will be conducted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for the remainder of the meet. The final week of the meet will include a special Friday card in conjunction with the start of the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships, which will take place November 4th and 5th. Additional racing days will be scheduled in the summer and fall to ensure the track meets its statutory and contractual requirements. Usual first race post time is 12:45 p.m.
An additional attraction for horseplayers will be the lowering of the base amount on Pick Three and Pick Four wagers from one dollar to 50 cents. These 50-cent multi-race wagers will complement the 10-cent superfecta on the exotic wagering menu. The 10-cent superfecta was introduced on a limited basis in 2007 and has been available on all races since 2009.
On Opening Day, Suffolk Downs will honor three “Community Winner's Circle” recipients for their positive contributions to their local communities. The honorees are the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) of East Boston, the 2010-11 Revere Girls High School Basketball team that posted a perfect 20-0 regular season, and the Winthrop Parks and Recreation Department. The “Community Winner's Circle” program was established in 2008 as a continuation of the track's long-standing community outreach program. Each honoree is recognized by the track in a winner's circle ceremony and with a contribution.
Members of the East Boston High School Jr. ROTC will present the colors for the national anthem, which will be performed by Jason Rambler of the All-Star Buglers.
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