Windribbon, with exercise rider Coco Lopez in the saddle, splashes over a sloppy opening day track for training Monday, Feb. 28 at Emerald Downs in Auburn. COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs

Windribbon, with exercise rider Coco Lopez in the saddle, splashes over a sloppy opening day track for training Monday, Feb. 28 at Emerald Downs in Auburn. COURTESY PHOTO, Emerald Downs

Training begins for 2022 Emerald Downs season

121 horses on the Auburn grounds in preparation for May 15 opening

  • Monday, February 28, 2022 1:15pm
  • Sports

The weather was cold and rainy, but spring was in the air Monday, Feb. 28 as horses began training for the 2022 racing season at Emerald Downs in Auburn.

Windribbon, 2021 Longacres Mile runner-up, was first on the track at 8 a.m. with exercise rider/assistant trainer Coco Lopez in the saddle, according to an Emerald Downs email. Trained by Blaine Wright for Seamist Racing (Michael Dadasovich), the 6-year-old Sway Away gelding figures to take another crack at the Northwest’s premier race with the 87th running of the $150,000 Longacres Mile on Sunday, Aug. 14.

Director of Racing Bret Anderson reported 121 horses on the grounds Monday morning, including runners trained by Candi Cryderman, Doris Harwood, Howard Belvoir, Vince Gibson, Tom Wenzel, Steve Bullock, Greg Moore, Shelly Crowe, Bonnie Jenne, Jose Navarro, Dale Koler, Cliff Balcom, Rigoberto Velasquez and Wright.

Training hours are 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily. The Quarter Café opens at 7 a.m. daily with food service from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Opening day for Emerald Downs’ 27th season is Sunday, May 15, with the 52-day meet running through Sunday, Sept. 18. The $50,000 Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and $50,000 Auburn Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings launches a 21-race stakes schedule on Sunday, June 19.

In addition to the Longacres Mile, the Sunday, Aug. 14 program features the $75,000 Emerald Distaff for older fillies and mares, $75,000 Muckleshoot Derby for 3-year-olds, and $75,000 Washington Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

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