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Hot to trot: Longacres Mile 2009
It's time again for the annual Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs racetrack, located off State Route 167 in Auburn.
The most prestigious horse race in the Pacific Northwest will take place for the 74th year on Sunday, Aug. 16. Races begin at 2 p.m. Race fans can win one of 50 laptop computers in drawings held after each race.
The Longacres Mile began in the summer of 1935, by Longacres racetrack founder Joseph Gottstein. According to the Emerald Downs Web site, Gottstein had wanted to put Washington horse racing on the map.
To do this, he announced the $10,000 Longacres Mile. One mile was an unusual distance for a horse race — too long for sprinters but not long enough for routers.
However, the $10,000 prize, an unheard of amount in the midst of a depression, was too good to pass up. The handsome prize paid off. The race continues to be a success, bringing in horses from all over the world. Emerald Downs replaced Longacres in 1996.
August is full of other exciting events at Emerald Downs. Wiener Dog Races will be held on Friday, Aug. 14. On Aug. 15, people have a chance to race the track. Proceeds benefit the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. For entry details, check out www.emdowns.com.
Seniors enjoy a night of entertainment for only $5 every Thursday during racing season. Seniors also receive a 10 percent discount at the gift shop, located at the entrance.
Fabulous Fridays offer $2 beer from 5 p.m. to the last race. Enter the Horseshoe Toss Challange for the chance to win $1,000.
Every Sunday is Sound Transit Family Days. Free family activities include pony rides and face painting through Sept. 6. Free stable tours are available by appointment by calling (253) 288-7711.
• Last year's winner Jennifer Whitekar became the first female jockey to win the Longacres Mile.
• A $10,000-added purse (prize money distributed to first five winners in a race) was offered in the first race. That was an amount unheard of in the 1930s.
• Doug Dodson, the youngest winning jockey, was 17 when he won the 1939 race.
• Johnny Longden, the oldest winning jockey, was 57 when he won the 1964 race.
• Three jockeys have won two years in a row: Bobby Jennings (1965-66), Gary Baze (1980-81) and Russell Baze (2003-04).
Nominations for the 74th running of the $300,000 Longacres Mile
Nominee, trainer, owner
Assessment (5-KY) Howard Belvoir Tice Ranch Stables LLC
Atta Boy Roy (4-WA) Valorie Lund R.E.V. Racing LLC
Autism Awareness (4-CA) Genaro Vallejo Johnny Taboada
Awesome Gem (6-KY) Craig Dollase West Point Thoroughbreds
Bank Emblem (6-CA) Robert Gilker Leo & Norma Shaw
Chhaya Dance (5-KY) Mike Chambers Three Sisters Thoroughbreds
Crafty Power (5-CA) Jerry Hollendorfer Hollendorfer & Todaro
Dakota Phone (4-KY) Jerry Hollendorfer Carver/HaloFarms/Hollendorfer/Todaro
Dixie Meister (7-TX) Michael Puhich Johanna Louise Glen-Teven
Elusive Schemes (4-KY) Vann Belvoir Belvoir or Ballestrasse
Gallon (4-KY) Jim Penney Michael & Amy Feuerborn
Kruger Park (5-FLA) Carlos Moreno Maria Isabel Moreno
Margo's Gift (4-WA) Doris Harwood Elttaes Stables
Mayor Marv (3-KY) Bob Baffert Michael Pegram
Sangaree (4-KY) Bob Baffert Darley Stable
Screen to Screen (4-FLA) Bob Baffert Pegram/Glasscock/Ol Memorial Stable
Sierra Sunset (4-CA) Jeff Bonde Lebherz/Mariani/Schmitt
Silver Stetson Man (5-KY) Bob Baffert Michael Pegram
Stormy Seattle (4-CA) Peter Axmaker Peter Axmaker
Talkin to Mom Roo (6-TX) Ted H. West Jeffrey Sengara
Teide (5-KY) Dino Condilenios Swift Thoroughbreds, Inc.
Texas Wildcatter (4-KY) Terry Gillihan Todd & Kinsella
Trumpet Player Jay (4-KY) Mark Glatt Ellenay Racing Inc.
Wasserman (7-WA) Howard Belvoir Howard Belvoir
Z Humor (4-KY) Mike Chambers Zayat Stables, LLC