2017 Orientation Details

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Reminder our 2017 Orientation and Kick-Off Party is 12 noon, Sunday, April 9, at Emerald Downs. In an unprecedented development, however, the Emerald Racing Club could have a horse racing BEFORE orientation!

Opening night at Emerald Downs is Saturday, April 8, and Distinguishable could be running in that evening’s feature race. But more on that later, first some general information on orientation:

Orientation and Kick-Off Party Details:

Who: You! (and a guest)

What: Emerald Racing Club Orientation & Party

When: Sunday, April 9, begins 12 noon

Where: Emerald Room – 4th Floor Emerald Downs (take either elevator from the first floor lobby)


  • 11:30 am – Check-in – We will have racing programs, so no need to purchase one
  • 12 noon – Orientation – Featuring trainers Sharon Ross and Mike Puhich, Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler, and other guests.
  • 1 pm – Gary Dougherty long time handicapper for the Seattle Times will give a crash course on how to read the Racing Form, handicap, and watch a race.
  • 2 pm – Live racing starts and party transitions to the View Room (right off the Emerald Room) with free Clubhouse Seating.
  • 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Buffet in Emerald Room
  • The Emerald Room and View Room are reserved for Emerald Racing Club all day so you are free to float in and out as you wish.

No cost for Emerald Racing Club members and guest. If you have additional guests you’d like to bring, they may join you for the party. Additional tickets will be $20 and can be purchased at the door.

Distinguishable Ready To Roll!

According to trainer Mike Puhich, Distinguishable is fit and ready to go and will be entered to race opening night at Emerald Downs!


Distinguishable will enter Race 8

Distinguishable will be entered in Race 8 (above) which is 5 1/2 furlongs for $25,000 claiming fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up which have never won two races lifetime, with a purse of $15,000. Because Distinguishable is a 4-year-old filly with one career victory, she fits this condition.

Entries for the race will be drawn Wednesday, April 5, and I’ll be monitoring developments like a hawk. If the race “fills”, I’ll alert everyone so you can make plans to be here on the 8th. If the race doesn’t fill, I’ll send out an update and try to figure out the next possible date for a race. We likely need six or seven horses to enter our race, which is iffy, but keep your fingers crossed.

According to Puhich, Distinguishable continues to train well at Pegasus Training Center. She breezed five furlongs in 1:01 flat Monday (second fastest of six works at the distance) and I’ll email the workout to everybody later this week. Osvaldo Gonzalez, the leading apprentice jockey last season at Emerald Downs, pinch-hit for Javier Matias aboard Distinguishable on Monday and Puhich said, “All systems are go” for our filly.

While relentless rainfall has hampered training at Emearld Downs, Distinguishable has enjoyed the benefit of training over the all-weather Polytrack surface at Pegasus, where she might have one more light workout before vanning to Emerald Downs next week.

As for McDove, she jogged today (Tuesday) and might gallop Wednesday, according to trainer Sharon Ross. So both ERC horses are doing well!

Upcoming Field Trips

We’re working on a date for our field trip to Pegasus but probably will wait until the weather finally turns sunny. It definitely will be on a weekend and perhaps you all can let me know whether you prefer Saturdays or Sundays for upcoming outings? It’s about 40 miles one way from Emerald Downs to Pegasus in east Remond, so It will be an early morning start!

Other trips we’re planning include visits to breeding centers Blue Ribbon Farm and Griffin Place, both in Buckley, and El Dorado Farms in Enumclaw. A couple of you requested a visit to the jockeys’ room at Emerald Downs, apparently a big hit in previous years, which we could combine with a morning at Emerald Downs’ very successful Breakfast At The Wire.

Licensing Update

WHRC Executive Director Doug Moore said not to worry if we aren’t 100 percent licensed to start the season, and that we would be extended a grace period with temporary licenses granted to non-licensed club members.

Incidentally, licenses can also be obtained at the WHRC’s Olympia office located at 6326 Martin Way East.



15 thoughts on “2017 Orientation Details

  1. Vince … This is really exciting! What a treat to perhaps have a win (fingers AND toes crossed!!) before orientation. And what an honor to have Dr. Dedemenico (hope I spelled his name correctly) trust us with such a quality filly.

    I am so glad I decided to do it again![😉]

    Thanks … Zee


  2. I am excited as well that we may have a horse run on opening night! This would be a first and also a first win by a filly if we do! I feel like we should have some flowers!

  3. Good to hear that those not getting licensed will not hold up any races for everyone else. That’s more than fair for all that have complied.

    I have a question about this statement :
    “No cost for Emerald Racing Club members and guest. If you have additional guests you’d like to bring, they may join you for the party. Additional tickets will be $20 and can be purchased at the door.”

    Are husband and wife considered “members” or just one lone person? I know this has come up before but I didn’t see this ever answered directly. The statement above implies that two people can attend but any others over 2 persons much pay $20. Am I reading that right? 1 member and a guest (singular).

    Yet when I got the ID/cards at the licensing counter I got two guest passes. Is that just for admittance to the gate or? I hope you see the confusion. I’d rather clarify this now rather than at the entrance.

    One last question – it mentions guests to the party, specific to that portion of the event. Is that excluding the orientation or? I ask because I don’t want to bring a ‘guest’ and then have them only allowed at the “party” portion. Which is, I assume, after the speakers (2PM onward).

    Again, sorry for the questions but it isn’t all that clear.

    • Hi CJ, Your 2017 WHRC license is good for admission to the track and stable area.

      Husband and wife are considered one member–unless both the husband and wife joined the Emerald Racing Club. If only one is a member, the person who gets licensed by the WHRC is considered the official Emerald Racing Club member. (This also presumably is the person that filled out the registration form.) The unlicensed spouse is allowed to visit the barn, but must be signed in by the licensed member at the security entrance of the backstretch. Transferring or loaning your license is not allowed.

      Regarding Orientation, each Emerald Racing Club member is allowed one guest to attend the event. Each additional guest is $20. And everyone who attends Orientation, ERC members and guests, are allowed to stay the entire day for everything.

      Very sorry for the confusion, Vince

      • One other thing, whenever the Emerald Racing Club has a horse entered, each club member is allowed up to 10 people on will call. Vince

      • [ One other thing, whenever the Emerald Racing Club has a horse entered, each club member is allowed up to 10 people on will call. Vince ]

        On that topic – if no ERC horse entered then that reverts to the official licensed member and 2 guests? Sort of like the husband/wife question as one but instead just regarding general admission. i.e. – is the limitation the two guest passes received at registration counter or can there also be 1 or 2 (for example) at will call?

        None of these things are clear and hopefully others can benefit from the answers.


  4. OK, so husband and wife are considered one member and we are allowed one additional guest for total of 3 people. Any over the three is $20 ea. Got it. Thanks for the clarification.

    The other issue is still confusing to me (access without Photo ID to the backstretch) because I have been personally told multiple things by different ERD people or employees.

    Verbally (by phone) I was told that it was no problem without the photo ID holder if they have the guest pass with them and “not to worry about it”. Later I was told in person by a security guard at the security backstretch entrance that when passing through as long as the parking pass is in the windshield they don’t even stop anyone or ask for ID. Just drive right on through I was told. Now this is a third set of conflicting rules where we have to stop and sign people in. Security said I didn’t have to sign anything or even stop.

    Sorry to be a pain about this but I hope you can appreciate the conflicting answers received. I want to follow ERD security procedures but it’s difficult to do when they seem to change depending on whom is asked.

    • Hi CJ, You aren’t being a pain at all! I am following the rules as set by the Washington Horse Racing Commission: unlicensed personnel must be signed in by somebody who is licensed. Sorry you’ve been told otherwise, but we shall follow WHRC rules.

      As for the Orientation, my explanations obviously are lousy! I should have said each OFFICIAL ERC member is allowed one guest. So if only the wife and not the husband (or vice versa) is registered in the Club, then the husband would be considered your one allotted guest. If you bring a third person, it would cost $20.

      Hope this makes sense?


      • OK, so the previous “Husband and wife are considered one member” statement is not the case but instead two separate individuals with one being a guest. Thanks for the latest clarification on that.

        I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that a child doesn’t count as a guest. As in under 12. I hate to assume anything but also don’t want to create a 10 page thread on this topic.


    • Really? Wow. That’s a surprise. So what are the age brackets? Or are there any?

      Is this written down somewhere? I tried to look before asking but don’t see any of this anywhere on the website, agreement, blogs, etc.?

      So if I want to bring, say, my 6 yo grandson along he is counted as a guest and as prior must be signed in at security too and wear ID guest pass?

  5. Perhaps you solely meant at the orientation, although I still personally think it odd to count small children.

    But I was actually meaning entry, backstretch, etc. It seems that “orientation” is a special event with it’s own set of rules.

    What lead me to assume this is per the track site anyone under 17 is free admittance to ERD so I didn’t think they would be penalized for being with a ERC member by having to pay or denied access with their parents/grandparent/s/etc.

    • Dear Vince, I do not require a personal call. All I wanted was a clear answer. One minute “Husband and wife are considered one member” (your words). The next they aren’t.
      Nevermind. This is too difficult.
      Please don’t call my residence and yell at me anymore.
      Thank you.

  6. When are we going to have a chance to meet Distinguishable ? Not much has been said other then she may run on opening day.


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