Horse racing is often called "The Sport of Kings," a throwback to the days when the cultural elite would amuse itself by watching horses race each other atop local monarchs. Though the rules of the sport have changed slightly, the palpable excitement remains, and today's Groupon will let you palpate it all day. For $10, you get admission, a program, tip sheet, and $10 worth of food and drink at Emerald Downs (up to a $21.50 value). Your Groupon is redeemable at the Auburn racetrack for any live race date on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday through September 26 (the first race posts at 6 p.m. on Fridays and at 2 p.m. on the weekends). See the 2010 live racing calendar to plan your equine excursion.
Admission (up to a $7 value) to Emerald Downs includes all-day access to the grandstand, the paddock, and the Emerald Downs park. The paddock gives you an opportunity to assess each speed-steed's swagger before you bet on them, so keep an eye out for subtle clues. If a horse's hooves are covered with ink stamps, for example, then it was out all night celebrating its friend's birthday—and you'd be better off putting money on the horse that's walking in slow-motion with its own entourage. You'll learn handy tips like this, plus odds and recommendations for each race, when you read your souvenir program and tip sheet ($4.50 value).
When the round-and-round racing wears you down, refresh yourself over at the grassy park, or watch the jockeys get on their high horses in the pre-race promenade before arriving in triumph at the Winner's Circle. The $10 food and drink ticket will allow you to sustain your energy during a long day of wins, places, and shows at the Downs.
A day at the races is a civilized and underpracticed way to break free from life’s mundanity and enjoy the sweet summer air amid the thrilling frisson of low-stakes gambling. Don your most extravagant wide-brimmed hat and revive the horse-powered dreams that died with the engine of your ’79 Vanagon with today's Groupon to Emerald Downs.
Yelpers give Emerald Downs four stars:
2300 Emerald Downs Dr.
Auburn, Washington 98001Get Directions