Mile Week in the Northwest

18 Aug

The Longacres Mile will be contested for the 79th time this Sunday at Emerald Downs.


The Mile has been held at:

Emerald Downs – 18 times (1996-2013)

Yakima Meadows – 3 times (1993-1995)

Longacres – 57 times (1935-1942, 1944-1992) 


Lets go back in time – 50 years ago – The 1964 “MAGICAL MILE”



Viking Spirit, the big, red Thoroughbred was the only invader of the 11 shipping in to run in the 29th running of the Mile.

Longden pix

And he got the money with Hall of Fame rider Johnny Longden sitting in the saddle. Viking Spirit, the 7-5 betting favorite, tied the track record (1:34-2) and won by 1 1/2 lengths over Doctor Spark.

“We figured Smogy (Dew) had to set the early pace,” owner T.E. Brittingham III said. “We thought our horse was bigger and stronger. We didn’t want to hook up on the Clubhouse turn. I thought Johnny, who usually likes to go right to the front, showed remarkable patience.”Viking pix










1964-Smogy Dew pix


The splendid filly Smogy Dew, who the talk of the town, disappointed the 10,526 fans at the Renton oval after sprinting clear and leading for a 1/2-mile before Viking Spirit but a bit of pressure on the Washington-bred 3-year-old. She finished 6th after winning the Longacres Derby just a week prior.

The handle on the Mile was $115K – the most bet on a single race at the Longacres racetrack.







Viking Spirit returned eight days later to win the $33,700 Del Mar Handicap  by 2 lengths.

In 1965 as a 5-year-old he collected victories all over the country – The San Francisco Mile (Golden Gate), Premiere and the Californian (Hollywood Park), Carter (Aqueduct) and the Bing Crosby (Del Mar).

He knocked off Native Diver on two occasions in 1965 – The San Francisco Mile and the Premiere. They would meet one last time in the 7 F Los Angeles Handicap at Hollywood Park. They dueled head-and-head throughout the stretch with Native Diver winning by a Neck. The fractions: :22-1, :44, 1:07-4 and 1:20 for 7/8ths. The time equaled the world record.



Remembering Mr. Muncey & the Atlas run: 1977-1981

30 Jul

It’s been awhile, some 30+ years ago when the “Blue Blaster” and Bill Muncey ruled this week in

the city of Seattle.

Seafair in Seattle = First weekend in August.

Time to party on the Lake and  watch and respect The hydroplane and the “Roostertail” that

made Seattle proud for so many years!


This Atlas Van Lines, which has been re-built and will run this weekend during the Seafair celebration, had one impeccable run on the water.

Atlas Van Lines-1980

1977 – Won 6 of 9 events including wins in the Tri-Cities and Seattle. Finished second in national points to the Miss Budweiser.

1978 – Won 6 of 7 regattas, only lost was in the Tri-Cities. Won the national-high point championship.

1979 – Won 7 of 9 races, swept the Washington races. Won the national-high point championship.

1980 – Won 4 of 10 races and took the checker at both Washington races for the second consecutive year. Finished second in national points to the Miss Budweiser.

1981 – Won one race of eight and was destroyed in the Oct. 18 race in Acapulco, Mexico.

Atlas-Bud pix



That would be 24 wins from 43 starts for the Blue Blaster with Mr. Muncey rounding the buoys.


1981 Program cover




Seafair week in Seattle

29 Jul

This was The week for many decades for Seattleites.

The hydroplanes were returning for another Sunday festival on Lake Washington.

1951 – The Slo-mo-Shun V wins the inaugural race.

1957 – The 50th Gold Cup takes place on Lake Washington. Bill Muncey gets his first win in Seattle while driving the Miss Thriftway.


1957 Program Cover






















1957 Crowd







Hydros returning to the Tri-Cities. Remember 1984? The last Gold Cup.

23 Jul

The Unlimited Hydroplanes return to the Columbia River this weekend for the 49th time!

The Gold Cup was run in Detroit two weeks ago as the Oberto got the checker.

The APBA Gold Cup – the biggest race in boat racing – was run in the Tri-Cities back in the day. The special event was held in 1973, 1975, 1977 and for the final time in 1984.

Lets go back 30 years and remember the 1984 race.

The race was held on July 29 over a 2 1/2-mile course.

Each boat had to run in three heat sections and the final. Every heat was 6-laps (15 miles) = 60 miles.


All the big-shots were on hand:

Atlas Van Lines, Chip Hanauer

Miss Budweiser, Jim Kropfeld

The Squire Shop, Mickey Remund

Miss Tosti Asti, Steve Reynolds

TC GC 84 qualifying


It was the sixth race of the year and the Miss Budweiser had won three of the prior races, while The Squire Shop and the Atlas Van Lines each had one victory.

This was the first turbine-powered Atlas Van Lines. During qualifying, the Atlas set a world record by running one lap in 145.867 mph before slowing to a crawl just after the finish line as an ominous plume of back smoke was gushing out of the turbine.

The Squire Shop was the top qualifier but encountered a bunch of hull damage Saturday afternoon. A crewman was using a torch, trying to break some glue loose so they could repair some damage brought about by the propeller as told to the media. The Squire Shop, owned by Bob Steil, had to be worked on all night Saturday and Sunday morning.

The Seattle Times headline on Monday:

Dream race just another nightmare

The championship final was basically determined before the starting clock hit zero.

Here’s an excerpt from The Seattle Times’ Glenn Nelson….In the shape-up for the start of yesterday’s grand finale, the Miss Tosti Asti, driven by Seattleite Steve Reynolds, was washed down by the Bud’s roostertail. The Tosti went airborne for about five terrorizing seconds, its control panel destroyed and its turbine engine wheezing to a halt.

Jim Kropfeld and Miss Budweiser were disqualified by race officials. “The officials said we were DQ’d, so we must have deserved it,” said owner Bernie Little.

Then the Squire Shop, the field’s fastest qualifier and owner of a convincing lead over Atlas for one lap, sputtered to a halt after Mickey Remund detected a dangerously low oil level during the middle of the third lap.

Chip Hanauer would go on an easily win his third Gold Cup.

Hanauer 84 GC

This last Gold Cup held in Seattle was in 1985 – Miller American (Hanauer).

The last Gold Cup not held in Detroit was in 1989 – Miss Budweiser (Tom D’Eath).















Yankees in town tonight…Remember the first time?

10 Jun

The Seattle Mariners first season was in 1977 and the Bronx Bombers made their first appearance in the Kingdome on May 11, 1977.

The M’s beat the Yanks that evening 5-2 in front of 23,978 spectators. It was the third biggest crowd in Mariner history at the time.

Reggie Jackson in his first plate appearance knocked a 2-run Home Run off Glenn Abbott.

Leroy Stanton’s 6th inning single pushed across Jose Baez putting the M’s ahead 3-2.

Baez contributed a 2-run double off Sparky Lyle in the 7th to make the final score 5-2.

Seattle improved to 10-24, while New York dropped to 16-11.




They played the following night and once again Seattle was victorious – an 8-6 slugfest win.

Over 42,000 made their way to the Dome!

Danny Meyer and Bill Stein hit back-to-back Home Runs in the first inning for the M’s off Catfish Hunter.


Billy Martin managed the Yankees in 1977 and they would go on and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 2 in the World Series.













What a day it was, 35 years ago today

13 May

The Seattle SuperSonics tackled the Phoenix Suns in the 1979 NBA Western Conference Championship series.

On May 13, the Sonics were playing for their lives, trailing the best-of-7 series 3 games to 2. Phoenix had won the prior three games in the match-up.

The Sonics held on for a dramatic 106-105 win, forcing a Game 7

Sikma photo - Suns


The game was played in front of 12,660 at the Phoenix Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Supes escaped in dramatic style, winning 106-105 to force a Game 7 at the Kingdome four days later.

Seattle rallied from EIGHT points down in the fourth quarter to snap the Suns 16-game win streak at home.

What happened in that all important fourth quarter

4:22 remaining: Walter Davis drills a 9-footer. Phoenix 101, Seattle 96.

1:33 remaining: Paul Westphal swishes 2 free throws. Phoenix 105, Seattle 102.

1:22 remaining: Gus Williams makes two of three free-throws. Phoenix 105, Seattle 104.

The Wizard with coach Wilkens






52 seconds left: Williams converts 17-foot jumper after a Suns turnover for the final basket of the game. Seattle 106, Phoenix 105.

41 seconds left: Davis travels.

20 seconds remaining: Williams doesn’t connect on a 12-footer from the lane.

5 seconds left: Davis misses an 18-footer.

1 second left: Gar Heard shoots an air-ball from 15-feet away. The city of Seattle could now take a deep breathe.

This win by Seattle allowed them to play a Game 7 and go on and defeat the Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals.








Dayton’s win brings back sad memories

28 Mar

Dayton took down Stanford Thursday night 82-72 to advance to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament.

Seeing Dayton playing in the Sweet 16, brought back March Madness memories of 1984.

30 years ago – this week (March 23, 1984)

The Washington Huskies faced the Dayton Flyers in a NCAA Sweet 16 matchup played in Los Angeles.

Dayton beat UW 64-58 behind the 22 points and nine rebounds by Roosevelt Chapman.

Dayton pix

The Huskies led at halftime 22-21 but were outscored 43-36 in the second 20 minutes. Dayton made 24 of 35 free throws, while UW was just 4 for 13.

Scoring for the Huskies were Detlef Schrempf (18), Paul Fortier (8), Chris Welp (7), Alvin Vaughn (7), Shag Williams (6), Reggie Rogers (6), Clay Damon (2), Tim Kuyper (2), and Gary Gardner (2).


Washington beat Duke in the Round of 32 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the early 1950s.



Seahawks tackle the Broncos for the ultimate prize

2 Feb


Super Bowl XLVIII

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos

Biggest wins in Seattle Sports History

Seattle Metropolitans

The 1917 Stanley Cup Final was contested by the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champion Seattle Metropolitans and the National Hockey Association (NHA) champion Montreal Canadiens. Seattle defeated Montreal three games to one in a best-of-five game series to become the first United States-based team to win the Cup. Seattle won Game 4 on March 26, 1917.

Slo-mo-Shun IV

Stanley Sayres’ record-breaking Slo-mo-Shun IV, made an impressive debut in American Speedboat competition as she won the 90-mile Gold Cup race on the Detroit River (July 22, 1950). That win would live on in Seattle history as the city of Seattle used that win to have a hydroplane race in Seattle starting in 1951. Seafair would never be the same and the city’s summer celebration climaxed each August with the hydros racing on Lake Washington.

Seattle SuperSonics

The Sonics defeated the Washington Bullets 4-games-to-1 to win the NBA Finals. Seattle won Game 5 97-93 on June 1, 1979.

Washington Huskies

1960 – The Huskies beat #1 Minnesota in the Jan. 2, 1961 Rose Bowl 17-7 to finish the season 10-1 and was declared National Champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation.

1991 – The Don James-led team completed their season 12-0 with a 34-14 victory over the Michigan Wolverines in the Jan. 1, 1992 Rose Bowl.

Seahawks and 49ers tangle for the NFC title

19 Jan

The Seattle Seahawks will host the San Francisco 49ers today in the NFC Championship game.

This is the third time Seattle has played for the right to go to the Super Bowl.

Lets look back in time at those two games.

30 years ago – Jan. 8, ’84

The L.A. Raiders (13-4) scored first 27 points of the contest to whip the Seahawks (11-7) 30-14 in the AFC Championship game.
The game was played in the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Raiders were a 7-point favorite.
Marcus Allen carried 25 times for 154 yards and Jim Plunkett  passed for 214 yards, completing 17 of 24 passes.
The Seahawks rushed 18 times for 65  yards while the Raiders rolled up 205 yards on 46 attempts.
Jim Zorn was 14-27 passing for 134 yards with 2 INTs. The Seahawks longest play from scrimmage was 14 yards.
The Raiders beat Washington Redskins 38-9 in the Super Bowl.
The Raiders lost 4 games all season, and two of them were against Seattle in the regular season. They lost 38-36 in the Kingdome and in L.A. 34-21.

Eight years ago – Jan. 22, ’06

The Seahawks dominated the Carolina Panthers 34-14 as they opened up a 17-zip lead early in the second quarter and never looked back.
Noteworthy statistics 
First downs: Sea 27, Car 11
Rushing: Sea 51-190, Car 12-36
Turnovers: Sea 0, Car 5
Line: Seahawks -5 1/2

Monday Night Football – It’s here in Seattle

2 Dec

The city of Seattle is hosting MNF on Dec. 2, 2013.

It’s the New Orleans Saints vs. the Seattle Seahawks.

Let’s look back at some highly anticipated home Seahawks games late in the season.
 (Best combined records of the two teams: Games played in November/December only.)
25-3, .893 - Seattle (12-2)  28, Indianapolis (13-1) 13. Dec. 24, 2005.
19-3, .864 – Seattle (10-1) vs. New Orleans (9-2). MONDAY NIGHT.
24-6, .800 – Seattle (12-3) 14, Denver (12-3) 31. Dec. 15, 1984.
15-5, .750 – Seattle (8-2) 17, L.A. Raiders (7-3) 14. MONDAY NIGHT, Nov. 12, 1984.
15-5, .750 – Seattle (8-2) 24, N.Y. Giants (7-3) 21 (overtime). Nov. 27, 2005.
The December 15, 1984 game was a special one in Seahawks history.
Here is what was The Seattle Times looked like back in the day:
The games was played in the Kingdome.

 Over 38,000 Raider Busters T-shirts were sold prior to the big game at six bucks a shirt.


The Seahawks won that memorable Monday Night 17-14.

For coverage on tonight’s MNF Game:

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