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  Bright Spot in Washington!     

Sun Downs Sun Downs started pari-mutual racing in 1981 at the Benton County Fairgrounds. In it's inaugural year it hosed eight days of racing over four weekends thatSun Downs spanned September and October, only sixteen thousand attended for the meet. At that time it was part of the Blue Mountain Circuit, that included fair meets in Dayton, Waitsburg and Walla Walla.

Today Sun Downs, is the only survivor of that circuit, it's meet has shifted to April and May and has been cut to six days, at it's peak Sun Downs had ten days of racing. The facility itself is your typical Northwest Fair Track, with a small covered wooden grandstand surrounded by metal bleachers with a total capacity to accommodate about 3,800 race goers. The grandstand entrance is adorned by a large mural with the sun setting over the mountains. The racing itself is split between thoroughbreds and quarter horses.

In 2014, six days of racing are again scheduled for the track. In 2012 I made it to Sun Downs for a short photo op, after my GPS tried to put me in the middle of the Columbia River. The site has an interesting feature, a catwalk that goes over the racetrack near the grandstand into the infield there is a rodeo ring surrounded by bleachers and buildings.