In an unprecedented development, an anonymous sponsor has donated $180,000 to be added to the 2018 stakes schedule at Emerald Downs Racetrack & Casino.
The donation will be used to fund a new six-figure stakes event for 3-year-olds, and also to restore to $50,000 four stakes previously announced as $30,000 events for the 2018 season.
“This is truly astounding,” said Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler. “This person wishes to remain anonymous and we certainly plan to honor that request.”
The $100,000 Getaway Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles will be run closing day, Sunday, Sept. 23, while the first four stakes of the meeting – Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, Auburn Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings, Hastings Stakes for older fillies and mares and Governor’s Stakes for 3-year-olds and up – have all been bumped back up to $50,000.
The revised schedule increases the stakes total to 29 and aggregate stakes purses to $1,630,000.
“An open stakes race for 3-year-olds is perfect for our schedule,” Ziegler said. “Except for the Washington Cup, we didn’t have a stakes for 3-year-olds in August or September.”
Per the anonymous sponsor’s request, a portion of nomination, entry and starting fees for the Seattle, Auburn, Hastings and Governor’s stakes will be donated to four different Thoroughbred aftercare programs, and all of the entry and starting fees to the Getaway Stakes will be donated to the same charities: Prodigious Fund, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farms and Thoroughbred Charities of America.
Emerald Downs Racetrack & Casino has announced a 67-day live racing season beginning Sunday, April 22, with first post 2 p.m.