On June 20, 1996 Emerald Downs opened, replacing Longacres, which was the key place for thoroughbred racing in Washington.
In 1997 the track spent nearly a million dollars in track improvements. In 1998 Emerald Downs had its largest crowd since its opening in 1996.
The track races from April to October. Emerald Downs premier race is the Longacres Mile Handicap, a Grade 3 event.