EAST BOSTON, MA - Suffolk Downs will open its 2012 live racing season on Saturday, June 2 with a guest appearance by NBC’s voice of the Triple Crown Larry Collmus, who served as track announcer at the East Boston oval from 1992-2008, the track announced today as it introduced its racing schedule and other plans for the upcoming season.

Collmus, who last Saturday called his second Kentucky Derby for NBC, will return to the Suffolk Downs announcer’s booth for the first time since 2008 to call a few races on the Opening Day program. He will also be available for a meet and greet with fans. T.D. Thornton returns for his fifth full year as track announcer after previously splitting time with Collmus.

Opening Day will be followed by a pair of three-day race weeks (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday) before adding Tuesdays to create a four-day schedule through the end of September. As of October 1, the schedule would return to a three-day week through the conclusion of the meet on Monday, October 29. As it did last year, the track is awaiting approval of legislation to reduce the number of racing days required to offer simulcasting from 100 to 80. This proposal was reported out of committee favorably on Thursday, May 3.

Earlier this month, Suffolk Downs reached an agreement with the New England HBPA to maintain a minimum of $8.25 million in purses, ensuring daily overnight purses of $103,125, the same as last year.

“We look forward to the 2012 racing season and having Larry return to help us kick it off,” said Chip Tuttle, Suffolk Downs’ Chief Operating Officer. “As we continue to pursue the development of a world-class gaming and entertainment resort, we remain committed to offering a racing program that is attractive to fans and financially rewarding to our horsemen.”

“Our negotiations with track management this off-season were very productive and we are very excited about the upcoming meet,” said Anthony Spadea, President of the New England HBPA. “We remain optimistic about the future of racing at Suffolk Downs and we look forward to continuing to work together toward our common goal of sustaining the racing industry and the positive impact it has on the agricultural community in this state.”

Suffolk Downs will continue to honor individuals and groups who have made a positive impact in the local community through its “Community Winner’s Circle” program. On Opening Day, the track will recognize Paul Antonino of Wakefield, who on April 1 entered a burning building on Chelsea St. in East Boston to alert residents of a fire that was raging above them and assist elderly residents in escaping the building safely. The track will also recognize Generations Incorporated for its programs in East Boston and Revere in which older adults volunteer their time to assist children in need of literacy tutoring.