Emerald Downs changes opening day to June 24

Live racing to return at Auburn track but without fans

Live racing at Emerald Downs (without fans) will return to Auburn on Wednesdays and Thursdays, starting June 24 and 25.

First post will be 2:15 p.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. Thursday. Racing will be conducted without fans because of state restrictions due to COVID-19, with all wagering online via advanced deposit wagering companies.

Emerald Downs previously announced a Monday-Tuesday racing schedule and a June 22 opening, but with a glut of tracks across the nation operating on those days decided on a Wednesday-Thursday format to try to attract more business, according to a Emerald Downs news release. Racing was originally scheduled to begin on April 18.

Last month the Washington Horse Racing Commission approved a 44-day season running through Oct. 4. The $100,000 Longacres Mile is set for Sunday, Sept. 13.

Horse racing without public participation is included in Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Safe Start Washington” plan. Upon entering Phase 4, racing will open to the public and Emerald Downs will return to a traditional weekend race schedule.

The Wednesday, June 24 program marks the official return of live professional sports to the state of Washington.


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