Emerald Downs Horseracing

Emerald Downs is a one-mile horse track in Auburn, Washington that features thoroughbred racing. The racing season typically spans from April to September each year.

This 167-acre facility, located midway between Seattle and Tacoma in the Auburn valley, features a state-of-the-art, six level stadium with a commanding view of the entire one-mile racing oval.

Nestled under the shadow of world-famous Mount Rainier, Emerald Downs has established itself as the premier thoroughbred racing venue in the Pacific Northwest. Among the big stakes events it has hosted is the Longacres Mile, the richest stakes race west of Chicago and north of the Bay Area. Other big events hosted are the Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup, Washington Breeders' Cup Oaks, Emerald Breeders Cup Derby and the Gottstein Futurity.

Emerald Downs Facts

  • Main Track: One mile, oval
  • Distance from last turn to finish line: 990 feet

Emerald Downs Records

Speed Records
2 furlongs Midnight Cruiser (2)
Adventure Man (2)
:46 3/5 5/4/00
4 1/2 furlongs I.M. Adevil (2)
Pacificat (2)
:51 3/5 5/30/99
5 furlongs Jazzy Mac (5)
Victor Slew (4)
:57 2/5 8/20/00
5 1/2 furlongs Willie The Cat (5) 117 1:03 4/5 4/16/04***
6 furlongs Blue Tejano (8) 119 1:09 1/5 6/7/02
6 1/2 furlongs Best On Tap (4) 119 1:31 2/5 5/31/04*
1 mile Sky Jack (7) 121 1:36 3/5 8/24/03**
1 1/16 miles Kid Katabatic (5) 123 1:43 3/5 7/26/98*
1 1/8 miles Flying Notes (3) 122 1:42 9/2/02*
1 1/4 miles Rapid Stream (7) 118 1:43 2/5 8/15/98
1 1/2 miles Keen Line (9) 120 1:50 4/5 9/6/97
2 miles Kavil (5) 115 2:01 2/5 11/1/96
*State Record
**Ties State Record
***Ties World Record

History of Emerald Downs

  • For many years, the Longacres racetrack was the premier thoroughbred racetrack in the state of Washington. In 1990, its owners, the Alhadeff family, sold it to Boeing, which since has developed the land. Longacres ran its final race on September 21, 1992. The overall decline in thoroughbred breeding and the void left in the state by the closure of Longacres racetrack helped to deplete the thoroughbred ranks.
  • On June 20, 1996, a new era in thoroughbred racing dawned in Washington with the opening of Emerald Downs in Auburn. Due to the dormancy of thoroughbred racing in the state brought about by the closure of Longacres and the subsequent migration of many owners and trainers to neighboring California, there weren't enough thoroughbreds to regularly fill the twelve post positions the starting gate at Emerald Downs can accommodate. The pressure to fill fields at the track led some trainers to push their horses into the starting gate again, or "run them back," as frequently as once a week.
  • In 1997, Emerald Downs spent nearly a million dollars on surface improvements due to various horse injuries that were attributed to the old track.
  • On April 25, 1998, Emerald Downs welcomed what is largely believed to have been its largest crowd since its first opening day, though this is only an estimate as Emerald Downs does not publicize attendance figures.

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