Emerald Downs in Renton has announced its annual race calendar for the 2013 season, beginning Friday April 19 and closing Sunday, Sept. 29, after it was approved Friday at the Washington Horse Racing Commission’s monthly meeting.
The commission approved a 75-day live racing schedule for the year at the horsetrack, located in Auburn. Live racing take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Special holiday racing event dates are set for Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, Independence Day, Thursday, July 4, and Labor Day, Monday Sept. 3. The annual Fireworks Spectacular follows the races on Wednesday, July 3. Post times are 6:45 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. weekends and holidays.
The 78th running of the Longacres Mile (G3), featuring many of the nation’s finest middle-distance horses, is set for Sunday, Aug. 18. New entrants to the Washington Horse Racing Hall of Fame will also be announced during the Longacres Mile — including former jockey and Renton native Jack Leonard.
The complete stakes schedule will be announced later in the month.
The stable area opened last week, allowing horses over 10 weeks to prepare for the 2013 season.
The 2013 meeting marks the 18th season of live racing at Emerald Downs. Established in 1996, Emerald Downs is considered the gem of racing in the Pacific Northwest. The facility sees over 400,000 visitors a year, and employs 240 people during non-racing season and 460 during live racing months. Thoroughbred racing in the State of Washington boast an economic impact of $253 million each year.