A new jumbo video screen was an immediate hit with fans
EMERALD DOWNS SHOWS
BIG GAINS IN 2015
AUBURN, Wash. (October 7, 2015) – Buoyed by larger fields and increased purses in claiming races, daily average handle soared 10.7 percent at the 70-day Emerald Downs’ meeting that concluded September 27.
Average field size also showed a healthy increase—going from 6.27 horses in 2014 to 6.86 in 2015—while on-track horse population sailed over the 1,000 mark for the first time in three years.
Average total daily handle was $1,262,956, with a high of $2,421,017 for Longacres Mile Day on August 16.
The Emerald Downs’ brand also grew substantially—showing a 16 percent increase in selling of its races in 2015.
First-year Emerald Downs’ President Phil Ziegler credited the successful meet to the track’s strong financial foundation built by Ron Crockett, and the continued commitment from the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, who officially acquired the track in March and have enhanced purses the last 12 seasons.
Said Ziegler, "The success we experienced this season would not have been possible without the support of our track founder Ron Crockett who continues to play a integral role at Emerald Downs, and the Muckleshoot Tribe who own our company and have invested over $13 million in purses since 2004.”
Last winter Emerald Downs announced a 20 percent purse increase for lower level claiming races and also added several incentives to lower costs for horsemen. These enhancements resulted in several first-time Emerald Downs’ trainers, the biggest influx coming from Turf Paradise in Arizona.
Stakes races fared well, too, with an average field size of 8.0 for 27 Thoroughbred stakes including an overflow field for the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3). Jim and Mona Hour’s 6-year-old gelding Stryker Phd won four stakes races—becoming the first horse to win the Longacres Mile twice at Emerald Downs—and repeated as Horse of the Meeting.
On-track attendance also showed a slight gain in 2015, and fans on-track enjoyed a new 1100 square foot jumbo video screen atop the tote board in the infield.
In 2016, Emerald Downs celebrates its 20th anniversary meeting. Racing dates will be announced later this year.