The first post for the Emerald Downs season opener is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Friday.

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Emerald Downs opens its 18th season Friday night with eight races, including the featured race for 3-year-old fillies. Post time for the first race is 6:45.

There are 64 horses scheduled on the eight-race card, up from last year’s total when 59 horses competed on opening night.

Emerald Downs had a record-low average of 6.38 horses per race last season, down from 6.73 the year before. Signs points to a rebound this year as there are 894 currently stabled at Emerald Downs, compared to 828 at this time last year.

Jockey Juan Gutierrez was last year’s riding champion, and he has a chance to get off to a hot start with scheduled mounts in six of the eight races Friday.

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Frank Lucarelli won his fifth training title at Emerald Downs last year, edging out 10-time champion Tim McCanna 43-40 in winners. Lucarelli has four horses entered Friday.


• Emerald Downs is giving away 30 iPad minis Friday night. Among the celebrities drawing names after races are Mike Tice, former Seahawks tight end and NFL coach, and KOMO broadcaster Dan Lewis.

Fiesty Lass, a 5-year-old mare who raced 16 times last season at Emerald, is entered in the fifth race. The 16 races in one season is believed to be an Emerald Downs record.