The 85th Longacres Mile is scheduled Sunday, Sept. 13


AUBURN, Wash. – A revised stakes schedule featuring a new date for the Grade 3 Longacres Mile was announced by Emerald Downs Racetrack & Casino.

Sixteen stakes are scheduled at the 44-day meeting, beginning August 2 with a doubleheader for 2-year-olds and concluding October 4 with a tripleheader featuring a pair of Washington Cup events and the championship Gottstein Futurity for 2-year-olds.

The 85th running of the Longacres Mile is Sunday, Sept. 13, a date that also features the Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares.

The $100,000 Longacres Mile and $60,000 Gottstein Futurity are the richest races of the season.

Fourteen stakes offer $40,000 purses and retain black type status for 2020.

The schedule features six stakes for 3-year-olds and up (three apiece for older horses and older fillies and mares), four stakes for 3-year-olds (two apiece for colts and geldings and fillies) and five for 2-year-olds (two apiece for colts and geldings and fillies, and one open).

The fifteen Thoroughbred stakes total $680,000 in purses, while the $40,000 Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge is offered for Quarter Horses.

Emerald Downs also revised its race dates for 2020, announcing a 44-day meet opening June 22 and continuing through October 4. Initially racing will be conducted without spectators.

16 Stakes: $720,000

Date. . . . . . . .Stakes. . . . . . . .Purse
Sun Aug 2 $40,000 Angie C Stakes (2YO F) 5 ½ F
Sun Aug 2 $40,000 King County Express (2YO CG) 5 ½ F
Sun Aug 9 $40,000 Coca-Cola Stakes (3YO F) 6 ½ F
Sun Aug 9 $40,000 Seattle Slew Stakes (3YO CG) 6 ½ F
Sun Aug 16 $40,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes (3&UP) 6 ½ F
Sun Aug 16 $40,000 Boeing Stakes (3&UP FM) 6 ½ F
Sun Aug 23 $40,000 Bank of America Challenge (3&UP) 440 Y
Sun Aug 30 $40,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes (2YO F) 6 ½ F
Sun Aug 30 $40,000 WTBOA Lads Stakes (2YO CG) 6 ½ F
Sat Sept 5 $40,000 Muckleshoot Derby (3YO) 1 1/16 M
Sun Sept 6 $40,000 Washington Oaks (3YOF) 1 1/16 M
Sun Sept 13 $100,000 Longacres Mile (G3) (3&UP) 1M
Sun Sept 13 $40,000 Emerald Distaff (3&UP FM) 1 1/16 M
Sun Oct 4 $40,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic (3&UP WA) 1 1/16 M
Sun Oct 4 $40,000 WA Cup Filly & Mare Stakes (3&UP FM WA) 1 1/16 M
Sun Oct 4 $60,000 Gottstein Futurity (2YO) 1 1/16 M



Longtime Emerald Downs trainer Arturo Arboleda died Sunday morning of natural causes in his sleep, according to his niece.

Arboleda, who retired following the 2019 season and relocated to Dania, Fla., was 96 years old.

A popular figure at Emerald Downs since the track opened in 1996, Arboleda enjoyed his finest seasons after the age of 90, including winning a career-high 12 wins in 2017. In 2018, Arboleda’s Regazze Cat captured the Not in any Rocking Chair Starter Allowance in which the horses were all conditioned by trainers 90 years old and up.

“Arturo was very special to us at the track,” said Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler. “He spent most race days in our office waiting for his horses to run. He had his best season at the age of 93! He will be missed.”

Arboleda rode and took care of horses while growing up in Panama, where he also was an accomplished welterweight boxer, competing in the Central America and Caribbean Games in 1946. Arboleda served in the Army and worked as a longshoreman after moving to the United States. He said his love for horses led him to begin assisting trainers at Longacres in Renton, beginning in the 1950s. He began training on his own in 1991, also owning most of the horses in his stable.

“The horses keep me young, man,” Arboleda said in a recent Seattle Times profile. “I love the horses. I do it the best I can.”

2020 Race Season Approved for Emerald Downs – OPENING JUNE 22 TO RUN MONDAY AND TUESDAYS

AUBURN, Wash. (May 8, 2020) – On Friday May 8, the Washington Horse Racing Commission voted to approve a 44-day season for Emerald Downs. Racing was originally scheduled to begin on April 18 and has now been approved to begin on Monday, June 22. Initially racing will be conducted every Monday and Tuesday with no fans in attendance.

Horse racing without public participation is included in Phase 3 of Governor 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 February 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. We have followed all the CDC and state safety guidelines since the emergency began.”


  • 2019 Washington Champions and Profiles
  • Annual Awards Banquet Pictorial
  • Washington Racing Hall of Fame Profiles on Inductees Jack Hodge and Peterhof’s Patea
  • The Foal Project: Part 1 of a 3-year Washington Project
  • 2020 Foal Reports
  • Equine Disease Quarterly: Genomics
  • 2019 Year-end Statistical Reports
  • And more
Monday, May 11, 2020
(Open to Thoroughbreds of all ages)
(253) 288-7878; maindesk@wtboa.com
Friday, July 31, 2020
(253) 288-7878; maindesk@wtboa.com



To: All Stakeholders in Washington Racing
From: Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler
We are finally seeing some clarity with our plans for the 2020 race season. The Governor’s reopening plan placed professional sports without audience participation in Phase 3. Horse racing and baseball are specifically mentioned. Based on the current timetable of at least three weeks between phases the state could begin to enter Phase 3 on June 15. In Phase 4 there are no gathering limits and we would be open to the public.
Emerald Downs Racing LLC and the Muckleshoot Tribe sent a revised date request letter to the WHRC for 44 days of racing beginning June 20 through October 4 with exact race days and post times to be determined.
Upon approval of these dates we will be moving forward with preparations. We are anticipating operating at least the first four weeks under Phase 3. We would run on Mondays and Tuesdays at noon beginning June 22. Once Phase 4 begins we would transition over to our traditional three-day weekend schedule.
We are working on a revised Stakes Schedule which WILL include multiple races for each category.
Running without the public is very challenging for our business and the sooner we can have the public here the better. We do not have a return date for simulcasting and other activities such as banquets and entertainment but it’s likely to be when Phase 4 begins. During a typical season we have over 500 employees. For many it’s a summer part-time job and for others it’s been their full-time career. Many of these jobs only can exist when we are open to the public.
For everyone working in the stable area you have done a terrific job of staying healthy. To clarify we are following the CDC recommended mask/face covering policy. Masks are required when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Please always be aware of your surroundings and do not take any chances with your health and the health of others. That will always be our top priority. And needless to say, if we have health issues in the stable area our race meet would be in jeopardy.


Introducing the All-New Spring 2020 Digital
  • 2019 Washington Champions and Profiles
  • Annual Awards Banquet Pictorial
  • Washington Racing Hall of Fame Profiles on Inductees Jack Hodge and Peterhof’s Patea
  • The Foal Project: Part 1 of a 3-year Washington Project
  • 2020 Foal Reports
  • Equine Disease Quarterly: Genomics
  • 2019 Year-end Statistical Reports
  • And more
Beginning with this issue of Washington Thoroughbred, we will be providing all future Spring and Fall issues of the magazine in digital format. We have made this decision reluctantly after much consideration, as the cost of printing became prohibitive. We will continue to print the Summer Sale and Winter Stallion Register issues of the magazine, as well as the Summer Yearling and Mixed Sale catalog.
On the plus side, this provides us with exciting new opportunities to broaden our reach. We hope you will enjoy this new format, which you can DOWNLOAD, PRINT and SHARE with ease — making it readily available on your devices and at your fingertips!

Emerald Downs president confident there will be horse racing this season — it’s just a matter of when

Phil Ziegler, president of Emerald Downs, is confident there will be horse racing this season at the Auburn racetrack.

When it will start, and what it will look like when it finally does, will likely be decided for him.

Opening day was scheduled for Saturday, but that went away when Gov. Jay Inslee ordered non-essential businesses shut down through May 4 to combat the coronavirus.

In the meantime, more than 500 horses are in training, so racing could start fairly quickly once the track gets the green light to start. But until there is clarity as to how and when the state will reopen, operations remain in a holding pattern at the track, which has put most of its employees on furlough (while maintaining benefits for those employees).

“We’ve got contingency plans internally, but we are waiting to see what happens with the state first,” Ziegler said Tuesday.

The track was scheduled to have a 63-day season that ended on Sept. 20, but Ziegler said the end date could be extended until sometime around the start of November.

“The advantage that we have is our end date is flexible,” he said. “We know we’re going to start late. What it looks like when we do — how many horses we have and how many days a week we can run — those are things we will have to deal with when the time comes.”

There have been no reports of coronavirus in the stables, where about 100 grooms work, with most living at the track.

“So far, so good back there,” said Ziegler, who expects a big influx of horses from Arizona in the coming days. “We locked (the stable area) down very early in the process.”

Ziegler wonders when racing returns whether it will be in front of fans. A few racetracks around the country are holding races, but without fans. Those tracks have seen big increases in the amount of money wagered.

“Will there be a limit on the number of fans that can come later in the season?” Ziegler mused. “How does that look? We’re not making any of those decisions. We’ll play whatever hand is dealt. Horse racing is unique in that it can operate in front of a closed grandstand and people can watch and wager from home. It’s not the preferred method of operating, but getting the horses racing this year is our primary objective.”

Ziegler said he never lost confidence that would happen. It’s a matter of when.

“At least we’re staged and ready to go, because we have horses here who want to run,” he said.


Over 200 horsemen and racing enthusiasts were dressed in their “Run for the Roses” finest for the 2019 Washington Annual Awards Dinner and Horsemen Stimulus Auctions on Saturday, February 22, 2020, held at Emerald Downs, Auburn, Washington.
John and Janene Maryanski and Gerald and Gail Schneider’s Baja Sur (Palmer Photography) brought home titles as horse of the year, champion sprinter and champion three-year-old to add to his 2018 state champion juvenile title. Bred by the late John Roche and trained by Blaine Wright, the gelded son of Smiling Tiger─Premo Copy, by Supremo, won three stakes (two at Emerald Downs and one at Golden Gate Fields) and was a close second in another in his four 2019 outings.
In addition, the Maryanski/Schneider partnership was also named the leading owner of Washington-bred earners in 2019 and Wright received one of two special training achievement awards handed out during the festive celebrations. Among Wright’s 2019 accomplishments were his close seconds in two Grade 1 races with juvenile Anneau d’Or, nine stakes wins at Emerald Downs and having his first Preakness Stakes starter.
Sophomore filly honors went to Warlock Stables (Tim Floyd), Kelly Dougan and Ya Killing Me LLC (Stephani Loffredo) raced Alittlelesstalk (Demon Warlock—Trainingat the Bar, by Valid Wager), who is trained by Roddina Barrett. Bred by Warlock Stables, the late Allen Floyd, Dougan, Melvin Hudson and Horseplayers Racing Club (Scott Gruender), Alittlelesstalk won two Emerald Downs stakes and was runner-up in two others, including in her challenge against the males in the Muckleshoot Derby. Alittlelesstalk is one of three stakes winners and four stakes horses from the first four foals out of Trainingat the Bar, who was named 2019 Washington broodmare of the year.
The top older filly or mare award went to One Horse Will Do Corporation (Jody Petz) and Steve Shimizu’s No Talking Back. The five-year-old daughter of Flatter, who hails from Chris Stenslie’s barn, won a trio of Emerald Downs stakes last year. In taking the title, No Talking Back became a fourth generation Washington champion. Her dam Talk to My Lawyer, by Lawyer Ron, won the juvenile filly title in 2011, which came eight years after her dam, Infernal McGoon, by Wekiva Springs, had scored the older filly or mare title. Infernal McGoon is out of 1987 Washington champion two-year-old filly Flame McGoon, by Staff Writer.
2019 older horse or gelding champion Grinder Sparksaglo (Grindstone─Cule Flyer, by Matricule) races for Richard Sena, who bred the seven-time stakes winner along with the late Marvin Lynd. Through his eight-year-old season Grinder Sparksaglo, who is trained by Robbie Baze, has placed in an additional eight stakes, including last year’s Governor’s Stakes at Emerald Downs.
Two-year-old colt or gelding honors were taken by Tawnja Elison’s Unmachable (Macho Uno─Point of Reference, by Benchmark) who placed in a stakes in each of his three starts – led by a victory in the WA Cup Juvenile Colts and Geldings Stakes – for trainer Jack McCartney. The new champion was bred by brothers Jack and Ivor Jones, who also raced his Washington champion dam. Point of Reference’s granddam Run Away State was a multiple state champion for Jones Farm.
Juvenile champion Windy Point (Coast Guard─Windy Sails, by Private Gold) races for her breeders Clemans View Farm (Jean and her son Jeff Harris) and veterinarian Michelle Beaunaux. The Jose Navarro trainee won the WA Cup Juvenile Filly Stakes and was runner-up in two other Emerald Downs stakes last season.
Other horse awards were given to: Atta Boy Roy (leading Washington sire for the second straight year), Lode the Gold (plater of the year) and Brilliant Bird (most improved plater). Also, for an impressive fourth year in a row, owner-rider Christina Klein’s Back to Wine earned the title of top Washington-bred OTTB by points recorded through The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) while being shown in a multitude of equestrian disciplines.
The lauded S. J. Agnew Special Achievement Award was given to Yakima attorney, horseman and former WTBOA President David Thorner.
Nina and Ron Hagen (El Dorado Farms) were Washington’s leading breeder for the fifth time.
Frank Lucarelli earned the second special training achievement award after a season in which he won an Emerald Downs track record 81 races and was the leading trainer at the Auburn oval for the sixth time.
Probably the most emotional tribute of the evening came with the presentation of the WHBPA Willing Heart Award to longtime racetrack veterinarian Gerald Bergsma for his “unabating compassion for horses and horsemen and steadfast dedication to the Washington horse racing industry.”
The WTBOA extends heartfelt thanks the many category sponsors, auction and raffle donors, bidders and buyers for their help and enthusiasm. Thanks also go out to auction chairman Karen Proffitt and her helpers for a job well done.

Emerald Downs Announces 2020 Stakes Schedule

The $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) will be run Sunday, August 9


AUBURN, Wash. (January 31, 2020) – Emerald Downs Racetrack & Casino has announced 28 stakes events worth an aggregate $1,515,000 in purses for its 2020 live racing season that begins Saturday, April 18.

The 85th renewal of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (G3) on Sunday, August 9 — earliest date ever for the Northwest’s premier race — anchors the second annual Championship Sunday featuring stakes races in four divisions. In addition to The Mile, Championship Sunday includes the $50,000 Emerald Distaff, $50,000 Muckleshoot Derby, and $50,000 Washington Oaks.

A second stakes quadruple-header is offered Sunday, July 12, featuring the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes for older horses, $50,000 Boeing Stakes for older fillies and mares, $50,000 King County Express for 2-year-old colts and geldings, and $50,000 Angie C Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

The Mt. Rainier at 1 1/16 miles is the final local tune-up for the Longacres Mile.

As usual, stakes action heats up in the latter half of the 63-day meeting, with 20 stakes scheduled during July, August and September.

The 2020 schedule offers 10 stakes for older horses (five apiece for males and females), 10 for 3-year-olds (five apiece for males and females) and seven for 2-year-olds.

In 2019, stakes races averaged a healthy 8.5 runners with a $10.60 average $2 win payoff.

The xpressbet.com Washington Cup will feature six stakes races over three weekends — August 30, September 6, and September 13 — and offer $300,000 in aggregate purses for Washington breds.

The $80,000 Gottstein Futurity at 1 1/16 miles is the biggest race of the season for 2-year-olds on Sunday, September 20, while the 10th renewal of the $40,000 Bank of America Emerald Championship Challenge is offered for Quarter Horses on Sunday, August 23.

Indian Relay also returns in 2020. The fifth annual Muckleshoot Gold Cup — featuring Indian Tribes from throughout the western United States and Canada — is scheduled Friday, June 19, Saturday, June 20, and Sunday, June 21.

Training for the 2020 Emerald Downs’ season begins Monday, February 3.

2020 Emerald Downs Stakes Schedule

28 Stakes: $1,505,000

Date. . . .Stakes. . . .Purse
Sunday, May 10: Seattle Stakes (3YO F) • 6 F • $35,000
Sunday, May 17: Auburn Stakes (3YO C&G) • 6 F • $35,000
Sunday, May 24: Hastings Stakes (3&UP F&M) • 6 F • $35,000
Sunday, May 31: Governor’s Stakes (3&UP) • 6 F • $35,000

Sunday, June 7: Kent Stakes (3YO F) • 6½ F • $50,000
Sunday, June 14: Irish Day Stakes (3YO C&G) • 6½ F • $50,000
Sunday, June 21: WA State Legislators Stakes (3&UP F&M) 6½ F • $50,000
Sunday, June 21: Budweiser Stakes (3&UP) • 6½ F • $50,000

Sunday, July 5: Coca-Cola Stakes (3YO F) • 1 1/16 M • $50,000
Sunday, July 5: Seattle Slew Stakes (3YO C&G) • 1 1/16 M • $50,000
Sunday, July 12: Mt. Rainier Stakes (3&UP) • 1 1/16 M • $50,000
Sunday, July 12: Boeing Stakes (3&UP F&M) • 1 1/16 M • $50,000
Sunday, July 12: Angie C Stakes (2YO F) • 5½ F • $50,000
Sunday, July 12: King County Express (2YO C&G) • 5½ F • $50,000

Sunday, Aug. 9: Washington Oaks (3YOF) • 1 1/8 M • $50,000
Sunday, Aug. 9: Muckleshoot Derby (3YO) • 1 1/8 M • $50,000
Sunday, Aug. 9: Emerald Distaff (3&UP F&M) • 1 1/8 M • $50,000
Sunday, Aug. 9: Longacres Mile (G3) (3&UP) • 1 M • $200,000

Sunday, Aug. 16: Barbara Shinpoch Stakes (2YO F) • 6 F • $50,000
Sunday, Aug. 16: WTBOA Lads Stakes (2YO C&G) • 6 F • $50,000
Sunday, Aug. 23: Bank of America Challenge (3&UP) • 440 Y • $40,000
Sunday, Aug. 30: WA Cup Sophomore Filly • 1 M • $50,000
Sunday, Aug. 30: WA Cup Sophomore Colt & Gelding • 1 M • $50,000

Sunday, Sept. 6: WA Cup Juvenile Filly • 6½ F • $50,000
Sunday, Sept. 6: WA Cup Juvenile Colt & Gelding • 6½ F • $50,000
Sunday, Sept.13: WA Cup Filly & Mare • 1 1/16 M • $50,000
Sunday, Sept. 13: Muckleshoot Tribal Classic (3&UP) • 1 1/16 M • $50,000
Sunday, Sept 20: Gottstein Futurity (2YO) • 1 1/16 M •  $80,000