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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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With seemingly every owner, trainer, track and -- yes -- even sometimes the horses themselves on social media, HRN editor Jonathan Lintner's here to help. We'll comb through the best of the racing community social media and host it all here. Welcome to Best of the Web!

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