Longacres Opens! April Fools

1 Apr

The Renton oval did open for the very last time on April 1, 1992. Exactly 20 years ago today.

With the sun out, a record opening day crowd of 18,559 packed into the house that Joe Gottstein built back in 1933.

The statewide handle was a robust $1.98 million on the 59th and final opening day of racing at Longacres.

Jockey Gary Boulanger won the $40,800 E. R. A. Express Handicap aboard Broadway’s Top Gun. The 4-year-old rallied from last of 11, winning the 5 ½-furlong dash by a ½-length.

“Whether it’s the last year or the second-to-last year here, we’re not going to have a funeral procession,” said Lonny Powell,  COO of the group that operates Longacres, the Emerald Racing Association. “When the last day comes, it’s going to be a celebration.”

Broadway’s Top Gun, trained by Renton HS grad Mike Puhich, beat a solid group that included horses that combined to win 98 races and over two million in purses.

Barbaric Pleasure finished second, Snipledo third while the 2-1 favorite Time to Pass ended up seventh.

OPENING DAY WINNERS

Race 1 – Proud Drou 7-1 (Frank Gonsalves, Ron Glatt, K-4 Tuna Stable)

Race 2 – Bypassbobby 7/2 (Vicky Aragon, Ron Glatt, K-4 Tuna Stable)

Race 3 – Sniper 18-1 (Larry Lacoursiere, Bill Tollett, B. Hodkin & A. Conley)

Race 4 – State of Art 14-1 (Mark Hanna, Tanya Street, Shady Valley Ranch & Medallion Farms)

Race 5 –Gallently Happy 16-1 (Brian Eide, Roy Lumm, Emerald Acres Stable)

Race 6 – Karla’s Darlin 19-1 (Brian Eide, Terry Vincent, Wayne Hill)

Race 7 – Super Image 3-1 (Gary Baze, Ben Harris, George Layman, Jr.)

Race 8 – Takeagiantstep 4/5 (Jesus Castanon, Mark Molina, Mary Caldwell)

Race 9 – Peterhof’s Patea 9/5 (Tim Doocy, Bud Klokstad, Patty Strait & Roger Williams)

Race 10 – Broadway’s Top Gun 7/2 (Gary Boulanger, Mike Puhich, Romi Stables)

Race 11 – Double Absolute 4-1 (Dave Patton, Neil Knapp, Ron, John & David Taylor)

“The trees, the atmosphere, the beauty,” said trainer Dan Kenney to the opening day media. “It doesn’t come back immediately. Even if they get a new track, it’ll take 20 years to get the beauty out of it.”

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