Barkley, the 2018 Longacres Mile champion, and Jennifer Whitaker were first on the track for winter training at Emerald Downs in February. COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs

Barkley, the 2018 Longacres Mile champion, and Jennifer Whitaker were first on the track for winter training at Emerald Downs in February. COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs

Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22

No fans initially at Auburn track; fans can wager from home

Emerald Downs in Auburn received approval from the Washington Horse Racing Commission to open the 2020 season on June 22 with no fans in attendance.

The commission approved on Friday a 44-day season, according to a Emerald Downs press release. Racing was originally scheduled to begin on April 18. Initially races will be conducted every Monday and Tuesday.

Horse Racing without public participation is included in Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Safe Start Washington” plan. Upon entering Phase 4, racing will open to the public and Emerald Downs will return to a traditional weekend race schedule. A revised Stakes Schedule will be announced next week.

Horses have been in training since Feb. 1. Track president Phil Ziegler thanked all the workers in stable area.

“They have done a terrific job of staying healthy and taking care of the 600 horses currently stabled at the track,” Ziegler said in the release. “We have followed all the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and state safety guidelines since the emergency began.”

Emerald Downs is located right off Highway 167 in Auburn.

Fans can watch and wager from home with 1/ST BET, according to the Emerald Downs website. All new 1/ST BET customers can use the promo code SPORTOFKINGS to receive a free $10 credit+$10 for every $100 wagered up to $500.

Tracks in California, Kentucky and West Virginia are scheduled to open next week, according to horseracingnation.com. Golden Gate Fields in California will resume racing without spectators on Thursday, the same day that West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s go-ahead for Charles Town is in effect.

Golden Gate’s sister track to the south, Santa Anita Park, is awaiting formal approval to resume business next Friday. On Saturday, May 16, Churchill Downs in Kentucky kicks off an abbreviated but landmark spring meet, according to horseracingnation.com. Churchill is the first track to race that will be introducing a fully new horse and human population to its backside under intense coronavirus safety protocols.




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