02/26/2015 11:45AM

Longacres Mile tops familiar list of stakes

Reed Palmer/Emerald Downs
Stryker Phd won last year's Longacres Mile, which this year is again a Grade 3, $200,000 race.

AUBURN, Wash. – Emerald Downs put the finishing touches on its stakes schedule this week, and it’s a virtual carbon copy of the one from 2014, with 29 stakes races valued at $1.62 million, up from $1.61 million a year ago.

The highlight of the 70-day meeting, which opens April 18, is the $200,000 Longacres Mile, a Grade 3 event for older horses. As usual, a trio of $50,000 stakes will serve as steppingstones to the Mile: The Governor’s Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs May 17, the Budweiser Handicap at one mile June 15, and the Mt. Rainier Handicap at 1 1/16 miles July 19.

The schedule includes 12 stakes for older horses, eight for 3-year-olds, eight for 2-year-olds, and one for Quarter Horses.

Washington Cup XIII – six races for statebreds worth $310,000 – is Sept. 13, with the $60,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic for older horses at 1 1/16 miles the marquee event. Quarter Horses will be showcased Sept. 6 in the $60,000 Bank of America Emerald Downs Championship Challenge at 440 yards.

In November, it was announced that the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe had agreed in principle to acquire Emerald Downs and its assets from the ownership group headed by Emerald founder Ron Crockett. Final licensing and approval from the Washington Horse Racing Commission is still pending.

In a prelude to the expected ownership transfer, Emerald Downs announced in December that overnight purses would increase by about 20 percent this year. By Wednesday, the horse population had swelled to 573, track officials said, a 14 percent increase from the same date a year ago.

2015 Emerald Downs stakes schedule
Date Race Conditions Distance Purse
Sun., May 10 Hastings Handicap 3YO & UP F&M 6F $50,000
Sun., May 17 Governor’s Handicap 3YO & UP 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., May 24 Auburn Handicap 3YO C&G 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., May 31 Seattle Handicap 3YO Fillies 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., June 7 Washington State Legislators’ Stakes 3YO & UO F&M 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., June 14 Budweiser Handicap 3YO & UP 1M $50,000
Sun., June 21 Coca-Cola Handicap 3YO C&G 1M $50,000
Sun., June 28 Irish Day Handicap 3YO Fillies 1M $50,000
Sun., July 5 Boeing Handicap 3YO & UP F&M 1M $50,000
Sun., July 12 Seattle Slew Handicap 3YO C&G 1 1/16M $50,000
Sat., July 18 Kent Handicap 3YO Fillies 1 1/16M $50,000
Sun., July 19 Mt. Rainier Handicap 3YO & UP 1 1/16M $50,000
Sun., July 19 Emerald Express 2YO C&G 6F $50,000
Sun., July 26 Angie C Stakes 2YO Fillies 6F $50,000
Sat., Aug. 8 Washington Oaks 3YO Fillies 1 1/8M $65,000
Sun., Aug. 9 Emerald Downs Derby 3YO 1 1/8M $65,000
Sat., Aug. 15 WTBOA Lads Stakes 2YO C&G 6 1/2F $50,000
Sat., Aug. 15 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes 2YO Fillies 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., Aug. 16 Emerald Distaff 3YO & UP F&M 1 1/8M $65,000
Sun., Aug. 16 Longacres Mile (G3) 3YO & UP 1M $200,000
Sun., Sept. 6 Emerald Championship Challenge 3YO & UP  440 YDS --
Sun., Sept. 13 Northwest Farms Stakes 2YO Fillies* 6F $50,000
Sun., Sept. 13 Captain Condo Stakes 2YO C&G* 6F $50,000
Sun., Sept. 13 Comcast Sportsnet Stakes 2YO & UP F&M* 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., Sept. 13 Chinook Pass Sprint Stakes 3YO & UP* 6 1/2F $50,000
Sun., Sept. 13 Pegasus Training Center Stakes 3YO & UP F&M 1 1/16M $50,000
Sun., Sept. 13 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic 3YO & UP* 1 1/16M $60,000
Sun., Sept. 27 Gottstein Futurity 2YO 1 1/16M $65,000
Sun., Sept. 27 NWSS Cahill Road Stakes 2YO 6F $50,000