Arizona Downs is the new official name for the former Yavapai Downs

Arizona Downs is the new official name for the former Yavapai Downs

June 23, 2018 6:25 AM
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Arizona Downs is the new official name for the former Yavapai Downs horseracing track near Prescott.

Longtime fans may recall that Arizona Downs was the name of a former racetrack in Phoenix that opened in 1951 at one location and subsequently ran its annual race meetings by leasing Turf Paradise, near Phoenix, before ceasing operations in 1985.

Yavapai Downs last ran in 2010.

The facility was bought for $3.22 million out of bankruptcy court in January by J&J Equine Enterprises LLC, an entity formed by brothers and Phoenix-based JACOR Partners principals Tom, Dave and Mike Auther and their partner Joe Jackson, along with longtime racing executive Corey Johnsen.

Live racing is scheduled to begin in 2019, with a meet running from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Plans call for off-track wagering facilities in sports bars and restaurants throughout the state.

Arizona Downs sits on 120 acres on the northeast edge of Prescott Valley, located eight miles from downtown Prescott in a rapidly growing market, about a four-hour drive from Las Vegas.

The new owners, in concert with Turf Paradise’s extended meet during the late fall, winter and spring, are hoping to provide a nearly year-round racing circuit in Arizona.