Emerald Downs will kick off racing season April 9 in Auburn

The thoroughbred horses will break out of the gates for the first time April 9 for Opening Night at Emerald Downs.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Auburn horse racing track.

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

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.

Preferred parking is $5 on Fridays and $7 on weekends and holidays, 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 75th running of the $300,000 Longacres Mile on Aug. 22.

The total purse for the marquee race was increased by $50,000 last year because of Breeders’ Cup Stakes funding, and becomes one of the most important stops on the Road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships’ $1 Million Dirt Mile.

The 89-day calendar reflects a Friday-through-Sunday schedule until Thursdays are added beginning June 10. There will be holiday racing on Memorial Day (Monday, May 31) and Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 6).

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

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