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Owner puts former Yavapai Downs up for sale

PHOENIX — The former Yavapai Downs horse racing track in Prescott Valley is for sale.


It’s been closed since it went into bankruptcy in 2010. Scottsdale’s Gary Miller bought it at an auction, along with the speedway next to it, last year. He paid $5.5 million.

He renamed it the Prescott Valley Race Course and Prescott Valley Speedway. The car race track has reopened and is a success, drawing between 500 and 1,000 fans a race. But Miller has never been able to get the horse track out of the starting gate.

“I had a set of partners that were working with me,” said Miller. “As we went through the process, they’ve decided not to make the investment.”

Miller did not say why the investors backed out. He believes they had a solid game plan to reopen the track and make it successful.

He’s decided to sell both tracks for a total of $7.4 million, far below the $12 million estimate of what the property is worth. He said the nearly $2 million difference between what he paid last year and his asking price this year is justified because the speedway and other buildings on the grounds are open and successful. Even though there has not been any horse racing, the former home of the Yavapai County Fair has held dog shows, swap meets and other forms of entertainment since Miller bought it.

Miller said he’d consider remaining a part owner.

“I’m open for any type of a discussion with anyone about what the opportunities could be, with the end objective that I want to get horse racing going up there,” said Miller.

He insisted that Prescott Valley needs horses to be running again at the track because of the jobs and economic opportunities that he said it will provide.