A complete guide to Emerald Downs: Races, schedule, more

AUBURN, Wash. - The Emerald Downs racetrack in Auburn opens on Saturday, kicking off an exciting season of horse racing that lasts all summer long.

If you were unaware of the historic western Washington racecourse, Emerald Downs first opened in 1996, replacing the Longacres Racetrack in Renton, which operated from 1933 to 1992. The track hosts a plethora of races every year, along with several special events.

If you are thinking of visiting the grandstand, here's what to know before you go:

What races are at Emerald Downs?

Emerald Downs features live Thoroughbred racing every weekend from May 4 through September 15. There are usually around 10 races per weekend, and eight races on week nights.

The racetrack also offers simulcasting every day they are open, allowing bettors to wager on races being broadcast from distant locations.

Emerald Downs' biggest race is the Longacres Mile. It originated in 1935 and gained significant popularity, partially due to the race's big prize money. It happens every Championship Sunday (August 11 this year), and the purse for 2023 was $150,000.

Emerald Downs is also hosting a special event on May 4, not just for Opening Day, but also for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby. Spectators are encouraged to dress up in their best Churchill Downs attire and get ready for lots of stakes races.

Where is Emerald Downs?

Emerald Downs is located a half mile east of Highway 167, specifically at 2300 Ron Crockett Drive.

Free public parking is available north of the racetrack. There is also preferred and premium parking to the west along Ron Crockett Drive, though it costs $10-$20.

Is there a casino at Emerald Downs?

No, there is no casino at Emerald Downs. Their website does have a page for a "Clubhouse Casino," but it is closed until further notice. However, an arcade is located under the grandstand on the south end.

Emerald Downs is also just over four miles from the Muckleshoot Casino.

What do I need to bring?

If you plan to spectate some local horse races, it's always fun to throw some money on a horse, just to see if they win. It'd be smart to bring some cash with you, unless you don't plan on betting.

Plenty of bars and concessions are located around Emerald Downs, though they are all cashless.

How much is admission?

For live racing events, general admission is $10, and $5 for kids ages 5-17. Friday nights admission is $5.

Find more information on the Emerald Downs website.


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