The $300,000 Longacres Mile (gr. III), the Emerald Downs' centerpiece for a 35-race stakes schedule set for the 2008 season, will be run Aug. 17.
A total of $2,310,00 will be offered in stakes purses, including a record $50,000 minimum for every stakes. The 91-day meeting begins April 18. The first stakes race is the $50,000 Seattle Handicap for older sprinters on May 4.
The 73rd running of the Longacres Mile tops a stakes double-header that includes the $100,000 Emerald Distaff for fillies and mares. As part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge,this year's Longacres Mile champion automatically qualifies for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Park on Oct. 25.
The Longacres Mile is the only graded stakes race in the Northwest and annually attracts several of the top middle-distance horses on the West Coast. Last year's Mile was taken by the locally based Washington-bred The Great Face, who in 2008 could become the first horse to capture consecutive runnings of the Mile at Emerald Downs.
The weekend also features the $100,000 Washington Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on Aug. 16.
Other leading stakes are the $100,000 Emerald Downs Derby for 3-year-olds on Labor Day, Sept. 1, and the $100,000 Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds on Sept. 27.
Washington Cup VI, featuring seven stakes races for Washington-breds, is set for Sept. 14.
The season concludes Sept. 28, with the Stanislaw Ashbaugh Claiming Challenge, a series of six starter handicaps ranging in distance from six furlongs to two miles.
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