01/26/2007 12:00AM

Longacres Mile now worth $300,000


AUBURN, Wash. - The purse for the Grade 3 Longacres Mile has been boosted to $300,000. It will be run for the 72nd time on Aug. 19 at Emerald Downs.

The Longacres Mile, which has carried a purse of $250,000 in recent years, is the highlight of Emerald's season, which will run 91 days, from April 20 through Sept. 30. The Mile is the richest of 35 stakes worth $2,215,000 to be contested at the 2007 stand.

Track officials hope that the enhanced Longacres Mile will serve as an important prep for horses pointing to the inaugural running of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, which will be contested at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26.

The Longacres Mile is one of 18 stakes on the Emerald schedule that have been increased in value. Most of those stakes have been boosted from $40,000 to $45,000, which is the new minimum purse for Emerald stakes. Purses for four stakes have been cut and one stakes, the Independence Day Handicap for older horses, has been eliminated.

Other hundred-granders on the schedule are the $100,000 Washington Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on Aug. 18, the $100,000 Emerald Distaff for fillies and mares on Aug. 19, the $100,000 Emerald Downs Derby for 3-year-olds on Sept. 3, and the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds on Sept. 30.

Washington Cup Day, which includes seven stakes for Washington-breds worth a total of $325,000, will be run on Sept. 16.