Opening Night slated for April 19 at Emerald Downs in Auburn

The 18th season of horse racing at Emerald Downs will kick off April 19 in Auburn. The Longacres Mile will be Aug. 18.  - Courtesy Emerald Downs
The 18th season of horse racing at Emerald Downs will kick off April 19 in Auburn. The Longacres Mile will be Aug. 18.
— image credit: Courtesy Emerald Downs

The horses will run for the first time April 19 on Opening Night at Emerald Downs. This year marks the 18th anniversary of the Auburn thoroughbred horse racing track.

The $83 million oval opened its gates June 20, 1996, four years after the closing of Longacres in Tukwila.

The cost of admission for adults is $7, which includes access to the first five levels of the stadium, the paddock and park. Children under 17 get in free and kids 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Simulcast admission is $3 and $2 with a Emerald Rewards Card.

Preferred parking is $7 and valet parking is $10. Parking in the general lot is free.

The biggest day of racing at Emerald Downs this summer will again be the 78th running of the Grade 3 $200,000 Longacres Mile on Aug. 18. The card on Aug. 18 will also include the $65,000 Emerald Distaff.

Emerald Downs will run a total of 29 stakes races in 2013, one less than last year, with total purses of $1,545,000, slightly less than last year.

“Our goal is to present a balanced stakes schedule, and to gradually stretch horses out to longer distances,” said Director of Racing Bret Anderson. “We aim to have horses peaking for the biggest races.”

Another special event during the season includes Fabulous Friday on May 3. The first 4,000 fans in attendance receive a lucky T-shirt, which will give you free admission each Friday for the remainder of the season. There will also be live music and beer specials.

The track's annual Fireworks Spectacular will be July 3 with a special 4:30 p.m. post time. This is the highest attended day of racing of the season with a firework show beginning approximately 20 minutes after live racing concludes.

The 75-day calendar reflects a Friday-through-Sunday schedule. There will be holiday racing on Memorial Day (Monday, May 27) and Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2). Closing day is scheduled for Sept. 29.

First race post times are 6:45 p.m. on weekdays and 2 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Emerald Downs sees over 400,000 visitors a year, and employs 240 people during non-racing season and 460 during live racing months. Thoroughbred racing in Washington boasts an economic impact of $253 million each year, according to Emerald Downs.


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