Emerald Downs Picks
About Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs statistics, track bias and information
Emerald Downs Racetrack is a venue that regularly stages thoroughbred racing, and it is located in Auburn, Washington. It was named after Seattle, which is often nicknamed the Emerald City, and it is around half a mile east of Highway 167.
The opening of Emerald Downs in 1996 helped live racing return to Western Washington after a two-year hiatus following the closure of Longacres Racetrack.
The land on which the track is built was reportedly purchased by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe for an estimated $70 million.The track was previously owned by a group of investors, which included the track president, Ron Crockett.
Emerald Racetrack currently has just one meet per year, which takes place throughout the summer months. It runs from mid-April to late-September, and this tends to remain fairly constant.
There is just a single racetrack at Emerald Downs, which measures one mile and is oval-shaped. It is overlooked by Mount Rainier. Most tracks in the region vastly differ in their composition, with Emerald’s surface comprised of geotextile fabric, coarse sand, washed rock and track material. There is no turf course, and there are currently no plans to install one at the track.
Much of the infield area of the track tends to be underwater during the winter; however, there is a system in place which drains this area ahead of the return of live racing.
Outside of the racetrack, there is pari-mutuel betting at the venue alongside 116 barns and several storage areas for horses being shipped West. There’s also an equine hospital at the track.
Emerald Downs hosts a number of key races throughout the year, with the Grade III Longacres Mile Handicap being the most prestigious on the calendar. The contest commands a purse of over $1 million.
Racing began at the track on June 20, 1996, with a 100-day meeting, enabling regular live racing to take place until mid-November. The track replaced the aforementioned Longacres Park, and, as a result, many of the now-defunct track’s key races were moved across to EmeraldDowns.
Just 12 months later, work was completed on the Morris J. Alhadeff Sales Pavilion, which is home to the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association. At the cost of $1 million, this impressive structure measures over 17,000 square feet.
In 2002, jockey Kevin Radke made history with an impressive six wins in a single day. He still holds this record today, though it was matched by Seth Martinez in July 2008.
In 2008, trainer Tim McCanna set a new record of 66 track wins in a calendar year, a record which Jeff Metz matched seven years later. Horseman Jim Penney remains the only trainer to have racked up five wins on a single day in the history of the Washington track. He’s actually achieved that remarkable feat on two occasions.
The track began to host Quarter Horse racing in 2010, with the first stakes contest held just 12 months later. This is typically staged on Labor Day Weekend and commands a purse of $60,000.
Emerald Downs also began hosting Indian Relay Racing in 2015, and this has been staged at the track each and every year since.
The track also switched hands in 2015 when it was purchased by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, which immediately made a number of improvements to the venue, including the installation of a big screen.Measuring 1,150 feet, this enables racegoers to enjoy the action from every vantage point.
Point Piper set a new track (and state) record in 2016 over the distance of one mile with 1:32.90.
There is no obvious racetrack bias at EmeraldDowns with no real advantage depending on the running style of a horse. The track rides pretty well, although the inside draw can be a disadvantage if there has been plenty of race around (particularly during the early part of the year).
During the 2019 meet, there was a fairly even spread of winners across the board. However, horses drawn in stalls one and two over the shorter trips tended to fare slightly better. A combined 35 percent of winners came from the two inside positions.
Stall nine was the least productive starting position, although this still produced over 10 percent of winners. Two of the 10 runners drawn in stall 10 entered the winner’s enclosure, while none of the two horses who were given the outside post of stall 11 were able to land a blow.
Over the longer trips, the outside stalls showed slightly improved results, with two of the six runners drawn in stalls 11 and 12 cruising home to victory. However, stall two still posted the best results, accounting for over 20 percent of winners in races held over the mile or greater.
Stalls eight and nine were particularly poor over the longer trip (6.5 and 5.3 percent, respectively).
There are a number of horsemen who regularly send their thoroughbreds to Emerald Downs, and many of these experienced handlers know what it takes to win at this Washington track. These are the names to watch out for during the 2020 meet:
2019 Meet Stats
● Frank Lucarelli – 28% Strike Rate
● Jorge Rosales – 27% Strike Rate
● Manuel Ortiz – 26% Strike Rate
● Blaine Wright – 24% Strike Rate
● Vince Gibson – 17% Strike Rate
● Chris Stenslie – 17% Strike Rate
● Alan Bozell – 15% Strike Rate
● Kay Penney Cooper – 14% StrikeRate
There are a number of riders who regularly travel to the track in search of winners. These experienced jockeys often make the difference in the closing stages of the contest. These are the names to watch out for at Emerald Downs:
2019 Meet Stats
● Scott Stevens – 25% Strike Rate
● Javier Matias – 23% Strike Rate
● Juan Hernandez – 23% Strike Rate
● Gary Wales – 22% Strike Rate
● Kevin Krigger – 20% Strike Rate
● Franklin Ceballos – 19% StrikeRate
● Juan Gutierrez – 18% Strike Rate
● Ryan Barber – 13% Strike Rate
Racing takes place throughout the summer months at Emerald Downs. The track would be unsuitable to stage live racing at any other time of year due to the inclement climate. The meet tends to begin in mid-April before concluding in late September, with races held on Fridays,Saturdays and Sundays.
In exceptional circumstances, racing may be moved to Thursdays. Each card holds between eight and 10 races.
There are a number of key races taking place at the track, with the Longacres Mile Handicap being the standout event. This is a Grade III contest and is the most prestigious race to be held in the state.
There are also a number of other ungraded stakes events taking place throughout the summer with the Washington Oaks the most recent addition.
There are a number of key races taking place at the track:
● Longacres Mile Handicap
Other Graded Races:
● Seattle Stakes
● Coca-Cola Stakes
● Irish Day Stakes
● Auburn Stakes
● Hastings Stakes
● Seattle Slew Stakes
● Boeing Stakes
● Mt. Rainier Stakes
● Angie C Stakes
● King County Express
● Muckleshoot Derby
● Washington Oaks
● Barbara Shinpoch Stakes
● Emerald Distaff
● Pete Pederson Overnight Stakes
● Washington Cup Filly Stakes
● Washington Cup Mares Stakes
● Washington Cup 3-year-old Stakes
● Washington Cup Colts and Geldings.
Emerald Downs Racetrack Address
2300 Emerald Downs Drive
Auburn, WA 98001