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  Boeing Boeing Gone!     

Longacres When pari-mutual wagering was again legalized on February 20, 1933 after a 14 year hiatus it didn't take long for Longacres Race Course to get in the game. LongacresOn June 20, the Washington Jockey Club was issued a permit to operate a racetrack, with 3,000 laborers working around the clock, Longacres became a reality on August 2, 1933 a little over a month later. 

With a backdrop of Mt. Rainier and lined with Lombardy Poplars, Longacres was meant to pay tribute to the great French Racetrack at Longchamp. Over the years many enhancements were made to the track, increasing the capacity of the grandstand to over 17,000, with parking for 9,000 cars.

Longacres was before it's demise the longest continually running race track on the west coast, closing only in 1943, when the State of Washington refused to issue the track, racing dates. Longacres was also the first west coast track to offer pari-mutual wagering.

Considered one of the top ten race tracks in the United States, Longacres was always in innovator in the horse racing world. From day one the track featured a starting gate and added features like film patrol and betting and cashing at the same window. Lighting was also added to provide for twilight and night racing.

Longacres was well known for it's signature race The Longacres Mile and the day of the 1981 running, Longacres set both attendance and handle records as 25,000, turned out to watch fan favorite, Trooper Seven, become the first horse to ever win back to back Longacre Miles. After years of success the world started to close in on the Renton oval.

Starting somewhere around 1986, Longacres started losing money as off track betting, state lotteries, the emergence of Seattle as a sports town begin to take a toll. In 1990 the track was sold to Boeing Aircraft. With a name change to Longacres Park, Boing allowed racing to continue rent free for two years. The track finally closed in 1992, and once the permits were approved in 1994, Boeing waste no time tearing down the historic site to erect a training center. Today you can still make out the outline of most of the track and some of those famous poplars seem to still be standing, but if you want to hear any hoof beats you'll have to travel a little south to Auburn, where it's successor Emerald Downs keeps the tradition of the Longacres Mile alive. If this could happen to a well maintained and run, top ten facility, what does that say about the future of horse racing?