Emerald Downs Announces 2012 Stakes Schedule

Longacres Mile tops 30-race slate worth more than $1.5 million that begins in May.

A 30-race stakes schedule highlighted by the 77th running of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (gr. III), four stakes doubleheaders, and Washington Cup X has been announced for 2012 at Emerald Downs.

A total of $1,585,000 will be offered in stakes purses, beginning with the $50,000 Hastings Handicap for older fillies and mares May 13 and ending with the $65,000 Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds on closing day, Sept. 23. Twenty-seven stakes are scheduled on Sundays including an Aug. 19 doubleheader of the $200,000 Longacres Mile for 3-year-olds and-up and the $65,000 Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.

The stakes schedule includes 10 events apiece for older horses and 3-year-olds, nine stakes for 2-year-olds, and one for Quarter Horses.

"We're pleased to offer the same amount of stakes events and virtually the same total stakes money as last year," said Emerald Downs President Ron Crockett. "The goal is to provide horsemen and owners ample opportunities for their horses."

One of the premiere middle-distance events on the West Coast and the centerpiece of the 81-day meeting, the Longacres Mile headlines an August calendar that features seven stakes worth $545,000 and will decide championships in virtually every division.

The weekend of Aug. 11-12 features the meet's best races for sophomores -- the $65,000 Washington Oaks for 3-year-old fillies and the $65,000 Emerald Downs Derby for 3-year-olds -- both at 1 1/8 miles. The 2-year-olds take the spotlight in the $50,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes for 2-year-old colts & geldings Aug. 18 and the $50,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Aug. 26. The latter two races have been shortened from one mile to 6 ½ furlongs.

Washington Cup X, six races for Washington-breds worth $215,000 in purses, is Sept. 9, culminating with the $40,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic for 3-year-olds and-up at 1 1/16-miles.

The June 24 race for older handicap runners has been renamed the $50,000 Coca-Cola Handicap at one mile and is the second stop for 3-year-olds and-up en route to the Longacres Mile. The Mile series begins May 20 with the $50,000 Governor's Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs and includes the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on July 22.

Emerald Downs' 17th season begins April 13, with racing offered every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Thursday racing is added July 12 to Aug. 23 and Monday holiday racing will be held May 28 and Sept. 3. There also will be special Tuesday racing on July 3 followed by the popular fireworks extravaganza.