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Tenth Anniversary season comes to close


October 3, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

AUBURN, Wash. (October 1, 2006) Emerald Downs' 10th anniversary season came to a close satisfying close Sunday. Daily average purses for the 90 day meet (one day was cancelled due to a power outage in April) were up 3.16% over 2005 and all sources average daily handle of $1,382,996 was flat to the previous year.

"We're pleased in the light of current trends to have held our own this year," said track president Ron Crockett. "We set a record for average daily purses in the state and by all indications seem to have another positive year in on-track attendance."

Interest in the Emerald Downs product nationwide was strong with a 10% increase in wagering on Emerald Downs from out of state sources.

Flamethrowintexan earning both Horse of the Meeting and Top Older Horse honors. The 5-year-old son of Way West, conditioned by state Hall of Fame trainer Jim Penney, won the 71st running of the $250,000 Longacres Mile, Grade III, and the $100,000 Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup en route to setting a new Emerald Downs' single season earning record of $226,750.

The 2006 edition of the Longacres Mile also earned the Race of the Meeting award and Flamethrowintexan's rider, Ricky Frazier, earned the Top Riding Achievement honor for winning 8 stakes in the meeting.

Frazier won his second riding title at Emerald Downs with 88 victories and was the top earning jockey with $1,207,045. The jockey was also presented with the Lindy Award, which is voted on by his peers and given to the jockey who best exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership and community service.

Frank Lucarelli won his third training title at the Auburn oval with 54 wins. Lucrarelli came from 10 races back on July 1 to surge into the lead winning 24 races in September.

The Top Training Achievement award went to Doris Hardwood who won 13 two year-old races at the meet, including one-two finishers in the $100,000 Barbara Shinpoch Stakes with Irene's Bonus Baby and Cascade Rose, as well as the Boeing Handicap with Dinner at Arlene's.

Starbird Road was honored as Top Sprinter and Top Washington-bred. The 5-year-old son of Count the Time, trained by Sharon Ross, won three stakes races at Emerald Downs - the Seattle Handicap, the Governor's Handicap and the gelding set a new 6-furlong track record of 1 minute, 7 2/5 seconds in the Chinook Pass Sprint.

The Top 2-Year-Old filly honor went to Skewing, the winner of the $40,000 Diane Kem Stakes.

Immigration was honored as Top 2-Year-Old after winning three stakes for trainer Howard Belvoir - the Emerald Express Stakes, the Strong Ruler Stakes and the Captain Condo Stakes on Washington Cup IV.

The Emerald Breeders' Cup Derby winner Raise The Bluff earned honors as Top 3-Year-Old Male. The Junior Coffey-trained son of Pine Bluff also won the Pepsi Cola Handicap.

She's All Silk was awarded Top 3-Year-Old after winning the $100,000 Washington Breeders' Cup Oaks and the John and Kitty Fletcher Stakes on Washington Cup IV.

Queenledo received the Top Older Filly or Mare honor. The 4-year-old daughter of Slewdledo, trained by Tim McCanna, won the Belle Roberts and Emerald Breeders Cup Distaff.

Westsideclyde, conditioned by Craig Roberts, earned Top Claimer of the Meet after winning five of six starts during the 2006 season.

The Martin Durkan Award, presented to trainers who represent sportsmanship and leadership, was awarded to Steve Koler.