02/09/2013 12:58PM

Emerald Downs will cut back to three days a week this season, shortens meet by six days

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AUBURN, Wash. – Emerald Downs announced dates for its 2013 meeting on Friday. Among the changes: The elimination of Thursday cards, a later post time for Friday twilight racing, and an overall reduction of six racing dates from a year ago. At 75 days, it will be the shortest meeting at Emerald Downs since the suburban Seattle track opened in 1996.

The schedule begins April 19 and will follow a Friday-Saturday-Sunday format through Sept. 29. Post times are 6:45 p.m. Pacific on Fridays – 45 minutes later than a year ago – and 2 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Emerald’s signature race, the Grade 3 Longacres Mile, will be run Aug. 18. The rest of the stakes schedule has yet to be announced.

In 2012, Emerald offered Thursday cards in July and August, but filling four programs a week became a significant challenge for horsemen, particularly after Portland Meadows – about 150 miles to the south – launched a new summer meeting in mid-July. Overall in 2012, the average field size at Emerald Downs was 6.36 starters per race – 6.53 before Portland Meadows opened, and 6.17 over the final 11 weeks after the tracks began competing for horses.

The new schedule at Portland Meadows could provide a short-term boost in horse population for Emerald Downs. The Portland meeting ended in December, and for the first time in decades, the Pacific Northwest racing circuit will be “dark” until Emerald reopens in April. After sitting idle for four months, it is hoped that horsemen will flock to Emerald Downs for the early stages of the meeting.

Bret Anderson, Emerald’s director of racing, said he hopes to have between 900 and 1,000 horses on the grounds by opening night.

T Favre More than 1 year ago
Emerald Downs is the Home for cheap horses to run, The good old days of pacific northwest racing are gone when they sold longarces. It's like we have 2 meets, Emeralds and Portland. The quailty of the horses are the same. Who wants to spend their hard earn money on 5 and 6 horse fields. Who wants the 3 or 4 dollar pay-outs all the Time. Its time for some real changes at the track, like NEW OWNERS,and a much needed PR. dept. with some fresh Ideas... Long Live Longarces....... T
Jeff Mcintosh More than 1 year ago
COULD NOT AGREE MORE.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
DRF.COM HAS THE SHODDIEST GRAMMAR DISCIPLINE I HAVE EVER SEEN. DOES ANYONE FROM THE COMPANY LOOK AT THEIR HOMEPAGE TO NOTICE SUCH OBVIOUS ERRORS SUCH AS THE TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE? SOMETIMES I FEEL AS IF THE WRITERS ARE THE SAME GUYS AT THE RACETRACK PLAYING .10 SUPERFECTAS ON A $12.00 BUDGET.
Sam Shelby More than 1 year ago
Anothr gambling egotist that belongs in GA. The grammar error was on purpose.