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

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

Horses are back: Thoroughbred training begins at Emerald Downs

  • Monday, February 3, 2020 2:02pm
  • Sports

More than 150 horses were on the grounds Monday as Thoroughbreds began training for the 2020 live racing season at Emerald Downs in Auburn.

A familiar white face was the first horse on the track as Barkley jogged a mile under Jennifer Whitaker at 8 a.m. sharp. Winner of the 2018 Longacres Mile, the 7-year-old chestnut is 10 for 18 lifetime with six stakes wins and $363,625 in earnings for trainer Howard Belvoir and owner Rising Star Stable III.

Director of Racing Bret Anderson reports stall applications are practically even to last year’s total, with 73 trainers applying for 1,062 stalls. Among the expected newcomers is Juan Pablo Silva, the leading trainer at Turf Paradise with 59 wins through Sunday at the Phoenix track. A 43-year-old native of Tijuana, Mexico, Silva has applied for 38 stalls at Emerald Downs.

In addition to Belvoir, other trainers on hand Monday included Tom Wenzel, Blaine Wright, Sharon Ross, Steve Bullock, Chris Stenslie and Vince Gibson. The trainer and horse population is expected to increase daily as runners gear up for the 25th season of live racing at Emerald Downs.

Training hours are 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with no renovation break. Beginning Feb. 19, training hours change to 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with renovation from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Opening day for the 63-day live racing season is Saturday, April 18. The first stakes is the Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on May 10. The 85th renewal of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) is Sunday, Aug. 9 and anchors a Championship Sunday quadruple-header featuring the Emerald Distaff, Muckleshoot Derby and Washington Oaks.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Thunderbirds Foundation breaks $1 million mark for donations to youth sports

Fundraising began in 2009 at ShoWare Center hockey games

Catch train in Kent to Sounder FC game on March 1

10:05 am stop for noon match against Chicago Fire FC

Canadian hockey teams dominate WHL U.S. Challenge Cup in Kent

Delta Hockey Academy Green wins championship

The Thunderbirds’ Mekai Sanders maneuvers the puck up the ice as the Cougars’ Majid Kaddoura defends during WHL play Sunday at the accesso ShoWare Center. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
Cougars skate past Thunderbirds in overtime

Davidson scores in 2-1 loss to Prince George

Minnis helps guide Western to big win over SPU

The Western Washington University men’s basketball team handed No. 20 nationally-ranked Seattle… Continue reading

Kentwood sends 9 wrestlers to Mat Classic XXXII

Karandeep Chauhan and Wylder Kraght captured class titles as Kentwood High School… Continue reading

The Thunderbirds’ Brendan Williamson, left, celebrates his first career WHL goal with Luke Bateman on Saturday night. Williamson’s goal proved to be the game winner against rival Portland. COURTESY PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
Thunderbirds strike back, zap Winterhawks

Williamson’s first WHL goal with 3:39 left in game powers 3-2 win

Kukuca’s hat trick powers Thunderbirds past Warriors

Roulette, Patterson also score in 5-2 win over Moose Jaw

Most Read