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February 6, 2014 at 8:04 PM

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Racing toward a new season


LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Direct Cost, a 4-year-old mare, exercises in a hot-walker during early training for the 2014 season at Emerald Downs in Auburn. Opening Day at the racetrack is April 12. Currently only a few hundred horses are boarded at Emerald Downs, but as the racing season draws nearer and the stables fill, the facilities will hold more than 1,200 horses.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

It takes many hands, including those of Misty Branz, center, to budge a stubborn Joel N Jill from the trailer during the first day of training for the 2014 season at Emerald Downs in Auburn on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Trainers Chris Stenslie and Clark Jones exercise horses around the track during the first day of training for the 2014 season.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A pair take a break and visit in the Quarter Chute Cafe at the racetrack.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Spare horse racing masks hang on hooks in a storage room during the first day of training.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Groom Rogelio Cruz washes down Assessment, 10, who won the 2009 Longacres Mile, during the first day of training.

LINDSEY WASSON / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Dr. Ryan, a 3-year-old male thoroughbred, waits for lunch in his stall during the first day of training.

For all things horses, visit the horse forum.

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