Horse racing at Emerald Downs on a Friday evening in May! Emerald Downs is located in Auburn, WA and offers a beautiful view of Mount Rainier on a clear day. If you have not been to a horse racing event/race track before, it is an interesting experiment. It is fun to watch the people (and you see all kinds) and to get to know the ins and outs of the sport. Purchase a program for $2.50 – you will find the number of races, the participants (name of the horse, owner, jockey, colors, etc…), and information on the types of wagers and on how to read a race page. To get a head-start, check out the types of wagers online before you go.
Emerald Downs first opened its to doors to race fans on June 20, 1996. It replaced Longacres Racetrack, which closed in September 1992 after sixty seasons of racing. The Longacres Mile Handicap – a Grade III event, is held annually in August (and is the showpiece of Emerald Downs). The race is open thoroughbred horses three years of age and older and is run on dirt over a distance of one mile (eight furlongs). Part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series since 2008, the winner of the Longacres Mile automatically qualifies for the Breeder’s Cup.
A variety of food and service can be had on the different levels. The concessions and service at the food court/snack area might remind you of being at the fairgrounds but there are other options including a full-service restaurant (reservations are available) and in-house catering. There is box seating, reserved seating, bar service, a members only club, and a view room or suite that can accommodate your next party or corporate get-together. Or bring a blanket and lay in the Park. A corporate outing attended years earlier proved to be a good time.