Emerald Downs’ Begins 25th Anniversary Season



AUBURN, Wash. (May 14) – Live racing is back!

Emerald Downs launches its 25th anniversary season with twilight programs Wednesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 20. Post time is 6 p.m. both days.

The 50-day season continues through September 23, with Sunday racing beginning June 20 and continuing through September 5.

Fans can purchase advance tickets for the first 10 days at emeralddowns.com

Alex Cruz and Frank Lucarelli return to defend their riding and training crowns from 2020.
Newcomers to the trainers’ ranks include Robert Bean and Ari Herbertson while a pair of former riding champions—Julien Couton and Kevin Radke—are back for the 2021 season. Also back is Juan Gutierrez, who last season became the track’s all-time leading rider and begins the season with 1,425 wins.

Notable horses in action opening week include 2020 Claimer of the Meet Omache Kid and 2020 Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Daffodil Sweet, who runs in Thursday’s $23,100 allowance feature for older fillies and mares.

Mike Man’s Gold, No. 1 all-time with 23 wins at Emerald Downs, faces Omache Kid and six others in Thursday’s sixth race, a $5,000 claimer at six furlongs. Doctor Bruce S. a triple winner at age 11 last

year, makes his first start as a 12-year-old in Wednesday’s fourth race.

The 21-event stakes schedule begins with the $50,000 Hastings Stakes for older fillies and mares and the $50,000 Budweiser Stakes for 3-year-olds and up, both at six furlongs on Thursday, June 17.
The 85th running of the $100,000 Longacres Mile (G3) is Sunday, August 15.


One of the track’s all-time greatest riders returns as Kevin Radke is named to ride eight horses Wednesday and Thursday at Emerald Downs.

Radke, 49, last rode rode at Emerald Downs in 2008, finishing third with 100 wins. He ranks near the top in every major riding category at Emerald Downs:

8th with 532 wins

7th in win percentage 19.85

8th with 25 stakes wins

8th with $5,147,787 in earnings

Riding titles in 2002 (143 wins) and 2003 (144 wins)

Radke recently bought a farm with his fiancé on Green Valley Road in south Auburn and began exercising horses when the track opened for training March 5. He hadn’t planned on making a comeback, but things worked out that way.

“I feel stronger than when I rode three years ago,” he said. “Emerald Downs was always my favorite place to ride. I love the place, the fans and everything else.”

Radke, who last rode competitively in 2018 in Ohio, won the 2003-04 Golden Gate Fields riding title with 89 wins while unseating perennial kingpin Russel Baze.

Radke scored his maiden win Nov. 29, 1998, at Thistledown and has 1,112 career wins.

Aldo Matias is booking mounts for Radke at Emerald Downs.


Emerald Downs has announced a new wager — The Pentefecta — to its exotic wagering menu for the 2021 season. In the Pentefecta (Super Hi 5), the bettor must select the top five finishers in the exact order. A $0.50 wager, the Pentefecta will be offered daily on the final race. If nobody selects the top five correctly, the entire pool carries to the next racing day.

Also beginning this season, the $0.20 Jackpot Pick 7 has been changed to a $0.20 Jackpot Pick 6. The wager is offered on the final six races daily.

And last but certainly not least, Gary Dougherty returns as The Trifecta King with two suggested trifecta plays daily on the big screen. Buyer beware.