Elliott Bay and Jennifer Whitaker, right, ponied by Kyrie Baze Patino, take to the track to train at Emerald Downs. Elliott Bay, a 3-year-old gelding that won the 2017 Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs, is owned by Rising Star Stable II and trained by Howard Belvoir. COURTESY PHOTO, Reed Palmer, Emerald Downs

Elliott Bay and Jennifer Whitaker, right, ponied by Kyrie Baze Patino, take to the track to train at Emerald Downs. Elliott Bay, a 3-year-old gelding that won the 2017 Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs, is owned by Rising Star Stable II and trained by Howard Belvoir. COURTESY PHOTO, Reed Palmer, Emerald Downs

Horses are back at Emerald Downs

Thoroughbreds open training at Auburn track

  • Monday, February 5, 2018 12:44pm
  • Sports

For the Reporter

More than 200 horses were on the grounds Monday as Thoroughbreds began training for the 2018 live racing season at Emerald Downs.

Elliott Bay, under Jennifer Whitaker, became the first horse on the track at 8:30 a.m. The track’s champion 2-year-old last year with a pair of stake wins and over $90,000 in earnings, Elliott Bay is trained by Howard Belvoir and owned by Rising Star Stable II.

Stable superintendent Vern Baze reports 201 horses on the grounds and expects the horse population to swell to nearly 1,000 head by opening day on Sunday, April 22.

Other trainers on hand Monday included Chris Stenslie, Tom Wenzel, Cliff Balcom, David Martinez, Vince Gibson, Terry Gillihan, Charles Essex, Vince Gibson, Sharon Ross and Doris Harwood.

The opening of training was streamed on Facebook Live with Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler and Joe Withee at the controls.

Elliott Bay is 2-2-0 in five starts including wins in the Gottstein Futurity and WTBOA Lads Stakes, both with Whitaker riding. Barkley, Emerald Downs’ champion 3-year-old of 2016 and fourth in the 2017 Longacres Mile, also was back in his normal stall at Belvoir’s barn

The 67-day meeting begins with a giveaway of 20 4k TVs on April 22, while the stakes schedule begins Sunday, May 20 with the Seattle Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. The 82nd renewal of the $200,000 Longacres Mile (Grade 3) is Sunday, Aug. 12.

Training hours are 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily with no renovation break. Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 21, training hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with renovation from 10:30 to 11. The Quarter Chute Café opens Monday, March 5.

More in Sports

Ravens scramble back, zero in on division title

Auburn Riverside sweeps challengers to remain unbeaten in duals

Flores becomes Lions’ all-time leading scorer

Senior scores 26 points in Auburn Mountainview’s 53-51 loss to Ravens

Auburn baseball makes coaching change

Mentink out after 5 seasons; Elliott steps in as interim coach

In the spotlight

Trojans roll to dual win in visit to the PAC

WWU’s Taylor, an Auburn Mountainview grad, takes second in the high jump at Dempsey Indoor meet

Western Washington University’s Maddie Taylor, a 2014 Auburn Mountainview High School graduate,… Continue reading

Trojans turn back Ravens in overtime

Auburn rallies for win, grabs hold of second place in division race

Auburn surges late to overcome Auburn Riverside

Strojan, Harshman and Co. post hard-fought 47-43 victory

Thunderbirds speed past Swift Current

Richards has two goals in 5-3 win over Broncos

Auburn Reporter honors the Ravens’ Lenihan, Russell

Auburn Riverside High School’s Cole Lenihan, basketball, is the Auburn Reporter’s Athlete… Continue reading

Most Read