11/15/2017 12:55PM

Emerald Downs 2018 season to open April 22

Reed & Erin Palmer Photography/Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs is scheduled to conduct a 70-day meet in 2018.

Emerald Downs Racetrack and Casino announced that their 2018 meet will begin Sunday, April 22 and conclude Sunday, Sept. 30.

Following opening day, racing during the first part of the 70-day meet will be conducted on Saturdays and Sundays until May 6. Friday racing begins May 11 and will continue the remainder of the meet.

Post times are slightly different from last year. They are the same for Sundays, 2:00 p.m. Pacific, and Fridays, 6:30 p.m. The first seven Saturdays will have a 2:00 p.m. post time, but the final 16 Saturday cards will start at 5:00 p.m.

The annual Fireworks Spectacular, Tuesday, July 3, also will begin at 5:00 p.m.

The premier race of the meet, the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, will be held Sunday, Aug. 12. The remainder of the stakes schedule will released in Feb.

“It’s all systems go for 2018 at Emerald Downs,” said track president Phil Ziegler. “We are planning many exciting promotions, but it all begins and ends with our live racing product.”

Last year there were 70 days scheduled at Emerald, but they ended up running 72. Extra dates were added at the end of the season because of days being canceled at the beginning of the meet. The cancellations were due to rough weather in the winter and spring, which made it hard for trainers to have their horses ready to run early.

The 2017 meet began April 8. The later start should give local horsemen more time to have their horses ready for the early stages of the meet.