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Emerald Downs trainer goes from working the fields to NFL champion

Sometimes, Junior Coffey says, he stands in front of the mirror and thinks, “Boy, I had a tough beginning.”

Coffey worked the fields in Texas as a kid and became the first black student to attend his high school. He encountered racism in college when he dated a white woman. His professional career with the Green Bay Packers included its share of injuries.

Seattle’s Fox affiliate, Q13, this week told Coffey’s story
, with the Emerald Downs-based trainer stabled there every year since it opened in 1996.

He’s had his highlights, including an NFL championship (the final one before the game was re-named the Super Bowl) in 1965.

Now Coffey rises at 4:30 each morning, which “I do this for the animals,” and is dreaming of another stakes-qualify horse, of which he’s had before, including Run Away Stevie, a mare who earned more than $450,000 back in the 1990s.


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