2019 Season Begins Saturday!


AUBURN, Wash. (April 18, 2019) – Live racing returns Saturday with a nine-race card and a promising weather forecast. First post is 2 p.m., with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 60s expected for the first of 67 days of live racing in 2019.

In honor of the track’s 24th season, festivities includes a unique “24 Karat Giveaway” featuring drawings for a necklace, bracelet, earrings, and a specially engraved “24” ring. The Toucans Steel Drum Band and Pacific Choir Chorus will add live music to the opening day scene.

The 2019 jockey colony will be introduced following the second race. Rocco Bowen, bidding for a record fourth straight riding title, will miss early season action awaiting medical clearance for an injured shoulder. In Bowen’s absence, Kevin Orozco, runner-up the last two seasons, is expected to contend for his first title, while Gary Wales, Javier Matias, Jose Zunino, Jennifer Whitaker are other returning veterans. Juan Gutierrez, No. 2 all-time with 1,320 wins at Emerald Downs, returns after missing all of 2018 with a shoulder ailment and has six mounts opening day.

Patrick Henry Jr. and Lorenzo Lopez, first and second in the standings this winter at Portland Meadows, add further depth to the riding colony, while Jorge Carreno and Franklin Ceballos are among the top newcomers. Carreno has over 1,400 career wins and is a former leading rider at Turf Paradise; Ceballos, a 19-year-old native of Venezuela, arrives from California and has 29 career wins at Santa Anita.

Blaine Wright and Frank Lucarelli are top contenders for leading trainer. Wright, who won Emerald Downs’ titles in 2016 and 2017, has amassed 20 stakes wins the last two seasons while Lucarelli last year overtook Tim McCanna as the track’s all-time leading trainer with 944 wins. Other top trainers back include Howard Belvoir, Roy Lumm, Tom Wenzel, Kay Cooper, Dan Markle, Mike Puhich, Robbie Baze, Candi Cryderman (formerly Tollett), Vince Gibson, Charles Essex, Chris Stenslie, Terry Gillihan and H.R. Mullens.

Top returning horses include defending Horse of the Meeting Sippin Fire, who won four stakes last year including the Muckleshoot Derby, and Barkley, who held off Alert Bay to capture the 2018 Longacres Mile. Other returning 2018 stakes winners include 3-year-old geldings Baja Sur, Fuzzy Dolphin and This Great Nation, 3-year-old fillies Northwest Factor and Money In the Starrs, 4-year-old fillies Bella Mia, Diamonds R and Dontkissntell, 5-year-old mares No Talking Back and Reginella, 4-year-old gelding Whatwasithinking, and 6-year-old gelding Hit the Beach.

Stakes action begins Sunday, May 12 with the $50,000 Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and concludes Sunday, September 22 with the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds. In a new twist, the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) anchors a Championship Sunday quadruple-header Sunday, August 11 also featuring the $50,000 Emerald Distaff, $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby and $50,000 Washington Oaks. In all, 27 stakes worth $1,550,000 will be offered during the 2019 season along with three Quarter Horse races worth an additional $75,000 in purses.

In the opening day feature, a field of seven race 5 1/2 furlongs in a $10,000 starter allowance for 3-year-olds and up with an $11,200 purse. Wine At Nine, a 13-time winner at Emerald Downs, makes his first stat as a 7-year-old and faces a tough group that includes Levitation, a five-time winner in 2018 and 3-2-0 in six career starts at Emerald Downs, and He’s Not Grey, a former stakes winner who reeled off three straight wins at the end of last season.

NOTES: Following Saturday’s opener, the track is dark Sunday, resuming with Saturday/Sunday racing on April 27-28 and May 4-5. Three-day racing begins Friday, May 10, Saturday, May 11, Sunday, May 12. . .Gutierrez needs 99 wins to tie Gallyn Mitchell’s all-time Emerald Downs mark of 1,419 wins. . .Matias with 489 wins and Whitaker with 480 wins are on pace to become the ninth and 10th riders with 500 career wins at Emerald Downs. . .Current horse population is 770, down 15 horses from the same date last year.

Emerald Downs All-Time Leaders

1. Gallyn Mitchell-1419
2. Juan Gutierrez-1320
3. Ricky Frazier-886
4. Leslie Mawing-744
5. Rocco Bowen-575
6. Frank Gonsalves-561
7. Kevin Radke-532
8. Ben Russell-501
9. Javier Matias-489
10. Jennifer Whitaker-480

1. Frank Lucarelli-944
2. Tim McCanna-932
3. Howard Belvoir-755
4. Jim Penney-662
5. Doris Harwood-544
6. Roy Lumm-434
7. Bud Klokstad-402
8. Tom Wenzel-377
9. Dan Markle-363
10. Robbie Baze-354

1. Ron Crockett-256
2. Sue & Tim Spooner-178
3. Howard Belvoir-155
4. Larry & Veralene Hillis-154
5. Billie Klokstad-129
6. Dunn Bar Ranch-121
7. Homestretch Farms-112
8. Northwest Farms-108
9. Hern/LepLey Racing-110
10. Seawind Stables-102

Emerald Downs 2019 Season
At A Glance
67 Live Racing Days: April 20-Sept. 22.
Post Times: 2 p.m. Sundays, Saturdays (thru June 8) and holidays; 5 p.m. Saturdays (beginning June 15) and Wednesday, July 3 (Fireworks); 6:30 p.m. Fridays (beginning June 10).
Admission: $9 for Adults. Ages 17 and under are free. Military free with ID.
Super Saturdays: During the 2019 season everyone age 55 & older receives admission, program and reserved seat for just $5.50.
Parking: Free parking available with shuttle service to main entry. Preferred $10; Valet $15.
Location: 2300 Ron Crockett Drive. Easy access from Highway 167.
Major family promotions: Ostrich, Zebra & Camel Races on Sunday, May 19. Bulldogs & Beagles Races, Sunday, June 9; Fireworks Spectacular, Wednesday, July 3. Wiener Dog & Wannabe Races, Sunday, July 7. Corgi Races, Sunday, Aug. 4.
Reserved seats and box reservations: 253-288-7711

Indian Relay Racing June 14, 15 & 16

Saturday, April 20: Opening Day – 24 Karat Giveaway
April 27-28: Teacher Appreciation Weekend
Saturday, May 4: Kentucky Derby Day & Hat Contest
Friday, May 11: Fabulous Friday T-shirt Giveaway
Sunday, May 12: Mother’s Day
Saturday, May 18: Preakness Day
Sunday, May 19: Exotic Animal Racing
Sunday, May 26: Armed Forces Day
Monday, May 27: Memorial Day
Saturday, June 1: First Responders Day
Sunday, June 2: Handicapping Tournament
Saturday, June 8: Belmont Stakes
Sunday, June 9: Bulldogs & Beagles
Friday, June 14, Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16: Indian Relay Races
Saturday, June 15: 5 p.m. Saturdays begin
Sunday, June 16: Father’s Day/Cap Giveaway
Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23: Food Truck Festival
Wednesday, July 3: Fireworks Spectacular
Sunday, July 7: Wiener & Wannabe Races
Friday, July 12, Saturday, July 13 and Sunday July 14: Equine Art Show
Saturday, July 13: British Night
Sunday, July 14: Irish Day
Sunday, July 21: Mile Preview Day, four stakes races
Sunday, July 21: Fiesta Premio Esmeralda
Saturday, July 27: Pride Night
Sunday, Aug. 4: Corgi Races
Saturday, Aug. 10: Washington Racing Festival/Run The Mile
Sunday, Aug. 11: Championship Sunday featuring the $200,000 Longacres Mile
Saturday, Aug 17: Bobblehead Night
Sunday, Aug. 25: Handicapping Tournament
Saturday, Aug. 31: End of Summer Party in the Park
Sunday, Sept. 1: Washington Cup, 3-year-old races/Italian Day
Sunday, Sept. 8: Washington Cup, 2-year-old races/Beerfest
Sunday, Sept. 15: Washington Cup, older horses/Washington Hall of Fame
Saturday, Sept. 21: Jersey Night
Sunday, Sept. 22: Closing Day