01/21/2016 8:50AM

Emerald stakes slate topped by Grade 3 Longacres Mile


AUBURN, Wash. – Emerald Downs unveiled its 2016 stakes schedule this week, a slate of 28 added-money events worth $1.62 million in purses and headlined by the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile on Aug. 14.

The Emerald Downs stakes program includes five races for older horses, five for fillies and mares, five for 3-year-olds, five for 3-year-old fillies, and seven for 2-year-olds, in addition to the $55,000 Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge for Quarter Horses.

Among the new wrinkles this year: an all-stakes pick four on Mile Preview Day, July 17, and a Monday evening stakes, the $50,000 Budweiser Handicap for older horses, when Emerald celebrates its 20th birthday June 20.

Also new for 2016, officials at Emerald and Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver, British Columbia, worked together to coordinate their respective stakes schedules, encouraging participation between the neighboring tracks. Hastings, about 165 miles north of Emerald, has a 53-day meeting from April 17 to Oct. 16. Emerald’s 70-day meeting opens April 9 and closes Sept. 11.

“It’s very balanced, offering equal opportunities in every division,” Phil Ziegler, Emerald Downs president, said of the stakes schedule. “Staggering our schedule with Hastings Racecourse will add opportunities for all our trainers, owners, jockeys and produce better races for the fans to watch and wager on.”

Mile Preview Day will feature the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap for older horses and the $50,000 Boeing Handicap for fillies and mares, along with the meeting’s first two stakes for 2-year-olds. Washington Cup – six races for Washington-breds offering a total of $300,000 in purses – is on Aug. 28.

2015 Emerald Downs stakes schedule

Sun., May 8 Seattle Handicap 3YO Fillies 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., May 15 Auburn Handicap 3YO C&G 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., May 22 Hastings Handicap 3YO & UP F&M 6F $50,000
Sun., May 22 Governor's Handicap 3YO & UP Open 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., May 29 Irish Day Handicap 3YO Fillies 1M $50,000
Sun., June 5 Coca-Cola Handicap 3YO C&G 1M $50,000
Sun., June 19 WA State Legislators  3YO & UP F&M 6 1/2F $50,000
Mon., June 20 Budweiser Handicap 3YO & UP Open 1M $50,000
Sun., June 26 Kent Handicap 3YO Fillies 1 1/16M $50,000
Sun., July 3 Seattle Slew Handicap 3YO C&G 1 1/16M $50,000
Sun., July 17 Mt. Rainier Handicap 3YO & UP Open 1 1/16M $50,000
Sun., July 17 Boeing Handicap 3YO & UP F&M 1M $50,000
Sun., July 17 Angie C  2YO Fillies 5 1/2F $50,000
Sun., July 17 Emerald Express 2YO C&G 5 1/2F $50,000
Sun., July 24 Washington Oaks 3YO Fillies 1 1/8M $65,000
Sun., July 31 Emerald Downs Derby 3YO Open 1 1/8M $65,000
Sun., Aug. 7 WTBOA Lads 2YO C&G 6F $50,000
Sun., Aug. 7 Barbara Shinpoch  2YO Fillies 6F $50,000
Sun., Aug. 14 Emerald Distaff 3YO & UP F&M 1 1/8M $65,000
Sun., Aug. 14 Longacres Mile (G3) 3YO * UP 1M $20,000
Sun., Aug. 21 BOA Emerald Championship Challenge (QH) 3YO & UP Open 440YDS $55,000
Sun., Aug. 28 WA CUP 2YO Fillies  2YO Fillies* 6F $50,000
Sun., Aug. 28 WA CUP 2YO C&G 2YO C&G* 6F $50,000
Sun., Aug. 28 WA CUP 3YO Fillies 3YO Fillies* 1M $50,000
Sun., Aug. 28 WA CUP 3YO 3YO Open* 1M $50,000
Sun., Aug. 28 WA CUP F&M 3YO & UP F&M* 1 1/16M $50,000
Sun., Aug. 28 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic 3YO & UP F&M* 1 1/16M $50,000
Sun., Sept. 11 Gottstein Futurity 2YO Open 1 1/16M $65,000